What Ban Ki-Moon Left Out
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon just held his annual year-end press conference, at which he touched on just about everything this side of Alpha Centauri. Whatever the issue -- from climate, to peace, security, human rights, humanitarian relief, sustainable development,"energy, food, water, health and education, and oceans" -- the United Nations, promises Ban, will be at the fore.
Nor was Ban's discussion entirely abstract. In his opening remarks alone, he mentioned the situations in Burma, Syria, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Haiti and the Philippines. In the question-answer period, he talked about the Arab Spring, Tunisia, Egypt, North Korea and "an era of uncertainty and inequity." He expressed concern about the inequities of developed countries, and noted that he and his advisers have been pondering how to address the issues raised by "Occupy Wall Street." He fretted about the cut-off of U.S. funding to UNESCO, his concern being not that UNESCO itself had triggered this de-funding by admitting the Palestinians, but that UNESCO might now have less money -- a concern he said he has been expressing "to world leaders whomever I met."
Ban also slipped in a gift to the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas, by way of a reference to the Palestinians as "Palestine" (has he not noticed that the UN has not recognized any such state?): "We must continue to push for peace between Israel and Palestine."
On and on he went, closing with a disquisition on his expectation that at the "Sustainable Development" summit next June in Rio, the UN in one grand slam plans to consolidate its guiding grip on "all the global challenges we have been dealing with in separate forums, like climate change, the food crisis, water, energy, global health issues, oceans and gender empowerment." You can read it all here.
And yet, somehow, there's one thing Ban left out. In the arena that is supposed to be center ring at the UN circus -- preventing "the scourge of war" -- Ban entirely omitted the top crisis in the world today. Not a word, not a whisper, did he utter about Iran. Not once did the name of the country pass his lips. He made no mention of Iran's UN-resolutions-violating nuclear program, its global terror networks, its monstrous human rights abuses, its abetting of the Syrian regime's slaughter or its provision of weapons and terrorist training to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza portion of "Palestine." He never mentioned Iran. Did he simply forget?
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