The UN's Future

Steven Mosher
By Joseph A. D'Agostino
PRI Weekly Briefing
15 December 2006
Vol. 8, No. 49
Reproduced with Permission

Major personnel changes at the United Nations have just occurred, and major international events will unfold next year as President Bush pursues a new Iraq policy and all the other trouble spots of the world continue on their unmerry course. These events and top UN personnel get a lot of attention, and rightly so. But what about deeper underlying trends, the ones that drive surface events and which will do so much to determine the future of the world ten, twenty, thirty years from now? These issues -- demographics, ideological shifts, slowly changing structures of power -- don't get as much attention as sectarian violence in Iraq, mass murder in Darfur, or U.S. ambassadors to the UN. Yet they are more important in the long run.

Unfortunately, John Bolton is out as U.S. ambassador to the UN, deep-sixed by a loser liberal Republican senator (Lincoln Chafee) and Democratic senators angry over Bolton's opposition to Fidel Castro, still a darling of the left in his dotage, and his effectiveness in defending American interests. Bolton was also the main driving force behind efforts to reform the transparently corrupt and inefficient UN bureaucracy, a reform drive that will probably die now.

Kofi Annan is out as UN Secretary-General. It is tempting to say he was the worse UN secretary-general ever, but the competition is too stiff. His replacement sworn in yesterday, South Korea's Ban Ki-moon, doesn't seem to have a clear agenda, or a mandate to reform the UN.

Yet reforming the UN's many agencies so that they become less corrupt and more effective would not necessarily be a good thing. Of course, if UN officials and their Third World dictator friends stole less of the humanitarian aid funds meant for starving people, that would be a good thing. If UN peacekeepers spent more time keeping the peace and less time raping local women and girls, that would also be a good thing. But increasing the efficiency of much of what the UN does away from the limelight would not be beneficial.

Here is a brief reform agenda for the incoming UN Secretary-General and U.S. ambassador to the UN regarding the destructive long-term trends promoted by various UN bureaucracies, away from the razzle-dazzle of the Security Council:

1. End the promotion of population control. When will population controllers realize that they have won? Birthrates have plummeted almost everywhere in the world in the last 30 years, yet the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other UN agencies continued to work under the assumption that there are far too many children being born, particularly if they are yellow, brown, or black. Latin America's birthrate is down to 2.5 children per woman in her lifetime, not far above the replacement rate of 2.1, and headed further down. Mexico is already below replacement. China, with 20% of the world's people, is at 1.7 -- and UNFPA is still active there. Asia as a whole is at 2.5 and dropping fast. Europe is at a suicidal 1.4. The United States is at 2.0. Only sub-Saharan Africa still has high birthrates, and they are desperately needed due to the ongoing decimation of African populations through war, famine, and disease. Does the entire human population of the world have to be on the road to extinction before the UN stops promoting population control?

2. End the promotion of feminism. One of the paramount forces destroying families, societies, and birthrates in the modern world is feminism. Feminism's denigration of positive feminine values of domesticity and child nurturance and exaltation of negative masculine values such as careerism and power-seeking is currently exterminating the Western world, in a literal sense-there are too few children being born. The UN, through all its social agencies from UNFPA to UNESCO to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), relentlessly promotes feminism, including abortion "rights." All kinds of studies as well as common sense show that two-career couples face greater stress and are more likely to divorce, and both also show that raising children outside of the traditional family leads to disastrous consequences far more often than when they are raised inside of one. CEDAW doesn't bother the United States, but has commanded small, weak nations to legalize abortion and abolish Mother's Day. When will the UN's insane project to make women into men cease?

3. End the radical environmentalist jihad. When I visited Ireland last month, I marveled at the unthinking acceptance of the global warming mythology. Of course, many interests and organs have come together to promote the fraudulent claim that we must lower our standard of living in order to avert environmental catastrophe, but the UN busies itself with spreading this secular millenarianism around the globe, including in Third World countries where people desperately need industrialization rather than economy-destroying theories of a coming apocalypse.

4. End the push for world government. We supposedly live in an age of increasing democracy. Yet here are home, so many of our most important policies -- on abortion, on marriage, on criminal's rights, on religion's place in the public sphere -- are decided by unelected judges. In Europe, the elites that control the elected governments there have been transferring greater and greater power to the European Union. The UN, too, has been gradually accumulating more power though none of its officials or voting delegates in the General Assembly are elected or are otherwise accountable to ordinary people. In fact, the UN is mostly a collection of dictatorships, oligarchies, and quasi-democratic regimes. This treaty organization wants to turn itself into a world government, with direct power of taxation and other marks of sovereignty. One of the newer ideological methods of expanding the UN's power is the concept of "human security," defined to include health care, employment, anti-discrimination laws, housing, etc. UNcrats use this concept to argue that security among nation-states -- the UN's primary mission--can only be guaranteed if each nation-state guarantees human security, thus giving UN potentates unlimited power to meddle in nations' internal affairs. This is a new twist on the old Communist argument about economic rights.

Notice that none of my suggestions entail the UN doing something good, only refraining from negative activities, activities that are incidental to its mission of promoting peace and international security anyway. All of these suggestions would save money, too. Few rational people believe that UN bureaucrats can be made to do much good or that these bureaucrats can be replaced with decent people. All that we can hope is that they may be prevented from doing harm. Since the United States provides 22% of the general budget of this destructive organization, using financial leverage could be a good place to start.