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UN in Your Face - May 7, 2001

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Like the picture of Dorian Gray, the UN Commission on Human Rights has further disfigured its portrait of dishonor. The United States of America has recently been removed from membership on the commission for the first time in fifty-three years, and in our place, the international body has instead chosen to expand its roster of malefactors.

The sheer lunacy of this mock panel should be evident to all. Under a mantle of protection of individual rights, the UN Commission on Human Rights maintains a membership list that includes nations such as China, Cuba, Libya, Syria and the Sudan, nations that embody the antithesis of the commission's professed purpose.

In spite of the blatant affront to America, U.S. representatives continue to seek use of tax dollars to fund the parent of this enterprise, the United Nations, to the tune of more than a half billion dollars. (See Wes Vernon) Even after so-called UN reform, overtaxed U.S. constituents are footing the bill for more than 1/5 of the total UN operating budget and more than 1/4 of the cost of peacekeeping efforts.

The original architect of the United Nations was none other than the ethically challenged Alger Hiss. Hiss was deeply involved with the preliminary planning of the UN back in the 1940s. He was present at Yalta when the Soviet Union was granted greater influence over the General Assembly and given three votes as opposed to one. He even became the first UN Secretary General. Woefully, he was later convicted of perjury in connection with Soviet espionage. Subsequent UN leaders have all too often shared his management style as well as his creed.

As the founding documents of the United States were shaped by a worldview, so too were the fundamental writings of the United Nations. But the substance of their underpinnings could not differ more. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were profoundly influenced by a Judeo-Christian worldview. In contrast, the founding documents of the United Nations were built upon a Marxist-collectivist paradigm.

The UN Charter reflects its underlying philosophy, as does the UN approach to individual rights. Unlike our founding documents, which unequivocally acknowledge that unalienable rights are implanted in the populace from a divine source and government is restrained from intrusion upon these innate and natural rights, the UN views rights as conditional.

The UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, sometimes referred to as the UN,s bill of rights, demonstrates this consequential distinction. After magnanimously granting the freedom to worship, a limitation is placed, not on the state, but on the individual, as Article 12 illustrates: "Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others."

Language of this type is wholly incompatible with the principles that inaugurated the American system, as exemplified in this and other official human rights instruments.

Some leaders have appropriately called the expulsion of the U.S. from the UN Commission what it really is ? an "in your face" offense. Others are trying to blame the President. Dick Gephardt and Nita Lowey ignored the hypocrisy on the part of the UN Commission on Human Rights in granting a seat to the murderous government of Sudan, and instead directed their rhetorical condemnation at the Bush administration. Apparently, they have decided to use the opportunity to play politics with the administration for its stand on the Global Warming Treaty and Missile Defense, and its overall view toward international initiatives.

This may be the perfect time to reexamine beliefs and attitudes about human rights in general. Spreading the American values of individual liberty, limited government and separation of powers has proven to be the best way to cultivate the fields of authentic human rights throughout the world.

Principles of decency will never be extended, nor will the intrinsic value of the individual be promoted, by an organization that uses a cover of "human rights" to treat citizens as mere social units, lacking in significance and sanctity. Governance, in pursuit of specious human rights, that leaves the protection of the rights of citizens to the discretion and whim of the almighty state, is no virtue. Persistence in guarding the precious deposit of freedom is no vice.

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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