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Resources updated between Monday, September 18, 2017 and Sunday, September 24, 2017

September 22, 2017

A UN compound in the Congo Ituri province capital Bunia

"She had been orphaned by a brutal conflict, but the 14-year-old Congolese girl found refuge in a camp protected by United Nations peacekeepers.

The camp should have been safe the day she was raped. A delegation from the U.N. was paying a visit, and her grandmother had left her in charge of her siblings. That was the day, the girl says, that a Pakistani peacekeeper slipped inside their home and assaulted her in front of the other children.

But that was not the end of her story. Even though she reported the rape, the girl never got any help from the U.N. She did become pregnant, however, and had a baby...

The raped teenager's experience is grimly emblematic of the underbelly of U.N. peacekeeping, and the organization as a whole. During a yearlong investigation, the AP found that despite promising reform for more than a decade, the U.N. failed to meet many of its pledges to stop the abuse or help victims, some of whom have been lost to a sprawling bureaucracy. Cases have disappeared or been handed off to the peacekeepers' home countries -- which often do nothing with them... With rare exceptions, victims interviewed by the AP received no help. Instead, many were banished from their families for having mixed-race children - who also are shunned, becoming a second generation of victims. The AP even found a girl who was raped by two peacekeepers; she gave birth to two babies by the time she was 14.

To this day, the sexual violence by U.N. peacekeepers and personnel continues: Congo already accounts for nearly one-third of the 43 allegations made worldwide in 2017...

The AP found that victims of car accidents involving U.N. vehicles are more likely to receive compensation than victims of rape. Why? Because those injuries were inflicted during the course of the U.N. worker's 'official duties.'

Although the U.N. has substantiated at least 41 cases of paternity worldwide since 2010, it can cite only one instance in which a paternity payment was made, according to online records of allegations. The AP independently confirmed a second paternity payment to a Haitian woman earlier this year.

Justice is even more elusive because the cases get referred to the alleged perpetrators' home countries. Even after a U.N. investigation discovered a three-year child sex ring involving Sri Lankan peacekeepers in Haiti, Sri Lanka prosecuted no one, the AP's investigation revealed.

Yet at the yearly U.N. General Assembly gathering in New York, Sri Lanka this week was named to the U.N.'s 'circle of leadership' for the next reform effort..."

UN still leaving victims of UN peacekeeper abuses without justice or help Article

"The following is a joint statement from the United States, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom following a meeting on UN Human Rights Council reform, co-hosted by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, and British Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP:

The United States, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom co-hosted a meeting on reform of the UN Human Rights Council on the margins of the UN General Assembly on September 19, 2017. The three co-host nations thank the 37 countries that joined this meeting and helped lead a productive dialogue, making clear their commitment to achieving progress on meaningful reforms to strengthen the Human Rights Council.

We agreed that reform is urgently needed to ensure that the Council's status as a respected advocate for human rights is secured, noting that the Council cannot perform this function if serial human rights violators are continuously allowed to serve on it. We must seek reforms that help advance global human rights and ensure that the UN's premier human rights body lives up to its name.

Ten years from passing the Human Rights Council resolution that set out the Council's agenda and procedures is an appropriate moment to explore ways to make the Council more effective and we call on other UN Member States to stand with us in working to achieve progress on reforms this year, both in Geneva and New York."

Joint Statement from the United States, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom on UN Human Rights Council Reform Development

September 21, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaking at the UN General Assembly on September 20, 2017

"Theresa May has called on the United Nations to reform as she singled out North Korea, Russia, Syria and Myanmar for criticism in a wide-ranging speech.

The Prime Minister told the UN General Assembly in New York the organisation must change in order to 'meet the challenges of the 21st century'.

She warned Britain will make up to 30% of its £90m annual core funding for the UN's agencies conditional on their ability to show they are efficient and transparent, as the Prime Minister appeared to echo US President Donald Trump's own call for 'truly bold reforms'.

Mrs May said: 'Those of us who hold true to our shared values, who hold true to that desire to defend the rules and high standards that have shaped and protected the world we live in, need to strive harder than ever to show that institutions like this United Nations can work for the countries that formed them, and for the people who we represent.'

The Prime Minister sent strongly-worded messages to various states she accused of breaching UN rules..."

Theresa May urges UN reform and threatens funding cut Article

North Korean representatives at the UN General Assembly in 2015

"Calls by the United Nations Security Council to isolate North Korea haven't stopped Kim Jong Un from launching missiles over Japan or threatening America and its allies. This week President Trump told the General Assembly that the United States is prepared 'to totally destroy North Korea' in the event of an attack. If the international community is serious about isolating the Kim regime, there's a less drastic option not yet tried: expel North Korea from the U.N.

Since the U.N.'s founding in 1945, no member state has ever been expelled. The U.N. charter does, however, provide for eviction: 'A Member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles in the present Charter may be expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.'

North Korea never met the U.N. membership requirements to begin with. The charter says membership is open only to 'peace-loving states' that promote 'respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms.'...

A bid to toss North Korea out of the U.N. would need strong U.S. leadership, and it could fail. China and Russia could block it with their Security Council vetoes. The despot-packed General Assembly, wary of setting a precedent, could balk.

It's still worth a try. Even failure would better illuminate the perils of relying on a U.N. that values North Korea's company above its own charter..."

Kick North Korea Out of the U.N. Article

September 20, 2017

President Donald Trump speaking at the UN General Assembly on September 19, 2017

"President Trump gave his first official speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday morning, and was immediately berated by the New York Times (Trump's "characteristically confrontational message") and the Washington Post ("Trump's menacing United Nations speech, annotated"). Sen. Dianne Feinstein lambasted him for words that "greatly escalated the danger" from Iran and North Korea. And the foreign minister of Venezuela's socialist dictatorship, Jorge Arreaza -- apparently trying to formulate some sort of supreme insult -- compared Trump in 2017 to President Ronald Reagan in 1982.

With that kind of reaction, you might just start to suspect that Trump did something right.

Actually, Trump got it very right. In a forum accustomed to diplo-fictions and the dignifying of dictators, he hit a home run for America...

He spelled out, quite accurately, that 'the scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based.'..."

Trump Hits Home Run for America in UN Speech Article

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly, September 19, 2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: UN is the 'epicenter of global antisemitism' Article

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (File photo)

Tillerson says Iran nuclear deal 'really has to be revisited' Article

President Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly, September 19, 2017

Trump to United Nations: 'We Will Stop Radical Islamic Terrorism' Article

September 19, 2017

United Nations Headquarters

Time to Reform the United Nations Article

President Donald J. Trump at the UN, September 18, 2017

No, Trump: The UN's problem is not 'bureaucracy,' it's despotism Article

President Donald J. Trump at the UN, September 18, 2017

UN 'ineptocrats' ripe to get Trumped Article

September 18, 2017

Carla Del Ponte at UN Human Rights Council, September 18, 2017

Syria war crimes investigator blasts UN inaction in farewell speech Article

As Trump mounts the U.N. General Assembly stage this week for the first time, one measuring stick cuts to the chase:  will 'make America great again' shrivel into a futile search for applause lines?

The unvarnished truth is that the General Assembly is a hostile audience for an American president. Less than half of the 193 U.N. member states are fully-free democracies. And with precious few exceptions, they share a common goal. Tying the American giant down in order to raise themselves up.

The claps from this crowd are reserved for obsequious, apologetic Americans who pledge to keep the dollars flowing. In short, President Obama.  In his first U.N. speech, Mr. Apology uttered: "America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others."  Days after the murder of Ambassador Stevens in Libya in 2012, he spent four paragraphs of his UN speech apologizing for the video.

Any mention of "radical Islamic terror" is a gasp-worthy no-no.  On Fridays, in the General Assembly Hall building, there is a call to Muslim prayers. The prayer rugs are stored there, while the public tours shuffle by. No other religion has appropriated the U.N. building as a place of worship. And yet one-quarter of the renovations and daily upkeep of these facilities come from separation-of-church-and-state American taxpayers.

Just down the hall from where President Trump will speak, the U.N. houses a permanent public display featuring a "plight of Palestine" exhibit deliberately placed next to the Holocaust exhibit. The message that Israelis are modern-day Nazis is a UN-staple.

The institution, after all, is home base to global anti-Semitism.  Last year 70 percent of all General Assembly resolutions criticizing a U.N. member state for violating human rights were directed at Israel alone. The tenth – and most recent – emergency special session of the General Assembly is about Israel's threat to humanity. Hundreds of thousands of dead in Syria (and Rwanda and Sudan), have never been able to command similar General Assembly attention. 

Faced with this morass, standard operating procedure for American presidents has been to wring their hands and still write blank checks. Once upon a time, President Trump promised to chart a different course. U.N. spenders who keep shifty books, U.N. peacekeepers who rape their wards, U.N. bosses who ruin whistleblowers, and U.N. human rights experts who practice anti-Semitism – seemed like worthy swamp-draining targets. 

But promises of major cuts to U.S. spending on the U.N. until there is real accountability have failed to materialize.  On the contrary, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is leading both President Trump and Vice President Pence in precisely the opposite direction, toward the siren call of U.N. "reform."  The chorus line of this ditty is "pay now, reform later."

Moreover, on Monday President Trump will be handing the reins of U.N. reform to none other than the UN itself. At Haley's prompting, a "Political Declaration for U.N. Reform" will be adopted with great fanfare. It begins: "First, we declare our confidence in the Secretary-General's reform initiatives and encourage him to lead organizational reform."

Does that sound like a serious business model?  What happened to the leadership of the U.N.'s number one banker, the USA? 

An obvious alternative has been sitting on President Trump's desk since January 20, 2017:  a freeze on further U.S. U.N. handouts for all but humanitarian crises, pending an in-depth, arms-length analysis of the U.S.-U.N. relationship from one unapologetic standpoint.  What will really make America great again?

Instead, Vice President Pence will host a second hush-hush U.N. "reform" meeting this week on the U.N. Human Rights Council.  Maybe nobody told him that the U.N. human rights rule book gives the power to change the rules to the human rights scoundrels themselves. What has leaked out about the Haley/Pence initiative are pleas for "transparency."  But the problem is not that the U.N. human rights system is opaque.  It is that we don't like what we see.

The "Human Rights" Council has launched a full-fledged boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) campaign against Israel. It has sponsored the creation of a U.N. blacklist of American companies doing business with Israel, with an anticipated 2017 publication date – using American dollars. This anti-Semitic and anti-American Council doesn't need reform. It needs to be discredited and cut-off.

Like those who came before him, President Trump could take the U.N. microphone and whine about "bias" against Israel.  He could offer up Israel to the hungry hordes by prioritizing "peace" without a Palestinian peace partner.  He could dance around the connection between Islamic radicals and terrorism. He could tout the make-believe benefits to America of a fantasy U.N., and then fall on the sword of U.N. "reform."

Or he could aim for the applause of the American people nowhere near the General Assembly Hall.  The folks who understand that the fancy diplomats, know-it-all bureaucrats and self-righteous grand poohbahs, don't deserve our respect or support.

Will Trump seek UN or American applause at his UN debut? Article

The Iranian flag at the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency

Israel: IAEA Received Info About Suspected Iranian Nuclear Sites but Didn't Inspect Many of Them Article