If you ask U.N. figureheads what their chief problems are, they are likely to point to lack of funding or issues surrounding lack of coordination with member states.
This is a familiar song and dance the U.N. has performed for decades as their utility has been questioned while their budgets doubled and formalities guided at increasing participation in the governing body. Lofty goals set by the U.N. includes the elimination of poverty and reducing gender inequality by 2030. The U.N. and its leaders know they have no shot at getting such feats accomplished.
If the U.N. was serious about any of their objectives, with respect to poverty, they wouldn’t have disbanded their anti-corruption procurement force which will decrease their investigative capacity to prevent dictators from crippling their people’s food sources. Secondly, if the United Nations was focused on eliminating gender inequality, the United Nations Human Rights Council wouldn’t allow a country like Saudi Arabia to keep its seat on the council considering how women are precluded driving rights in that country.
Considering their status as the world’s largest international governing body, the United Nations isn’t completely useless. They’ve proven to be essential during natural disasters given their logistical and humanitarian benefits. Despite those strengths, the consensus from international relation scholars over the past several decades have been critical of the U.N.’s capacity to achieve its global objectives.
Enter President Trump
If there’s anything we’ve learned from President Trump thus far, it’s that Trump will not be managed into following respectability protocols if they come into conflict with his ideology. Media tours by H.R. McMaster & Niki Haley in advance of the annual General Assembly meeting in New York gave most spectators the perception that we were going to see a tame Trump placate to the traditions of the U.N.
President Trump gave his best speech of his early presidency at the U.N. by pointing out the hypocrisy of the Human Rights Council, putting North Korea on notice for the death of American citizen Otto Warmbier, and describing the inefficiencies of a governing body that has shown an inability to resolve the globe’s current tribulations.
President Trump’s forty-minute address to the U.N. included the traditional quips you would expect from the leader of the free world at a global gathering, but the address also had the traditional Trump flare that we’ve become accustomed to. He once again referred to Kim Jong Un as “rocket man” saying that the North Korean leader was on a “suicide mission”. This kind of rhetorical device wasn’t just for flare. It’s the kind of straightforward rhetoric that is needed to shake up a governing body that allows North Korea’s neighbors to be tormented by the oppressive regime because of their incompetence.
In 2012 When President Obama addressed the U.N. on the heels of recent missile tests from North Korea he mentioned the dictatorship only once saying,
“North Korea has yet to take concrete steps towards abandoning its weapons and continues belligerent action against the South.”
Trump instead zeroed in on North Korea by describing the lamentable conditions that North Koreans live under. He also put countries like China on notice by condemning those that continue to support North Korea economically saying,
“It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a nation but would arm, supply and financially support a country that imperils the world”.
United Nations reform has been a central theme during the week which is a good start, but requires an igniting force if the U.N. is going to fix any of their problems. The governing body is failing to promote peace around the globe, in fact, it may be aiding corruption. Countries like China, Venezuela, and Cuba have seats on the Human Rights Council. These countries commit some of the worst human rights violations around the globe, yet they have influence concerning how such abuses are monitored and investigated. The United Nations cannot continue to feign itself as the model for governance when it has such glaring contradictions embedded in its structure.
Reform starts with understanding the current state of turmoil and President Trump made sure the U.N. was aware of their current predicament. President Trump declared in his address to the 193 countries.
“It is a massive source of embarrassment to the U.N. that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council”
This U.N. address stood in stark contrast to the politically correct speeches that were characteristic during the Obama years.
Watch it below:
RC Maxwell is the National Coordinator for American Voice PAC, GOP Strategist, and New Media Central Contributor. Follow him on Twitter @RCMaxwellGOP.