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The Case Against the UN

- Abstract

Among the “excellencies” attending the 59th session of the UN General Assembly that opened in late September were 64 world presidents, 25 prime ministers, and no fewer than 86 foreign ministers. Such an extraordinary turnout, exulted Secretary General Kofi Annan in his welcoming remarks, attested to the fact “that in these difficult times, the United Nations is . . . the common and indispensable home of the human family.”

The speeches that followed, however, were depressingly typical of the miasma of rhetoric for which this “home of the human family” is famous. The German foreign minister: “We will have no peace without development, nor indeed development without peace.” His French counterpart: “Without justice, there will be no peace. Without peace, there will be no lasting development.” The Brazilian president: “[T]he path to lasting peace must encompass a new political and economic international order.” The Spanish president, adding a wrinkle: “Peace and security will only spread over the world with the strength . . . of education and culture.” “Culture,” he elaborated, “is always peace.”

About the Author

Joshua Muravchik, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is working on a book about Arab and Muslim democrats.