Foreign policy was a side issue in Tuesday’s election. But with crises in the making, from Venezuela to Iran, and points between and beyond, the wider world will be muscling its way into the spotlight soon enough. Let’s hope the new Congress, whatever its configuration, will take a serious interest in at least trying to resume some oversight of how American tax dollars get spent at that international colosseum known as the United Nations. The issue is not solely the billions of dollars Washington pours annually into the UN — providing roughly one-quarter of a system-wide UN budget that now comes to well over $20 billion. The problem is also that along with the usual waste and fraud, the UN spends some of those American billions on activities hostile to U.S. values and interests.
Just this past week, as I noted in a post last weekend on the UN’s Tiananmen Travesty, the Chinese head of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Sha Zukang, presented an award to a Chinese former defense minister, Chi Haotian, who was operational commander of the troops who crushed the 1989 Tiananmen democratic uprising. Sha — UN credentials and all — delivered this award on behalf of the World Harmony Foundation, an outfit intriguingly listed by the UN itself in its accredited NGO database as having no available address or home country. Presumably that’s just UN sloppiness, given that the World Harmony Foundation on its own web site lists addresses in both Manhattan and Zhejiang, China.
Now comes word that the UN is now planning a Durban III conference for next September in New York City. Anne Bayefsky has the details at the Weekly Standard. This Durban III would follow the UN’s Durban Review Conference held in 2009 in Geneva (with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as one of the main speakers), which followed the UN’s anti-Semitic Durban Conference of 2001 (which got so bad that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell ordered the U.S. delegation to walk out).