If I Were Kofi Annan

Category: World Affairs Topics: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Occupation, United Nations Views: 3730
3730

If I were the UN Secretary General, I would submit my letter of resignation to the UN Security Council immediately. This I would do after I finally decided recently to disband the UN Fact Finding Mission, which was to investigate the alleged massacre and gross human rights violations in the Jenin refugee camp by the Israeli occupying force. The Israeli government has decided to block the mission and refused to give cooperation to the team by the nearly unanimous decision of its cabinet. I would tell the Security Council that this was perhaps the peak Israeli defiance to the UN resolution on Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the one hand, and clear evidence of impotency on the part of the United Nations to enforce its decision when it comes to Israel. I would also say that, as Secretary General I felt humiliated by the decision of a small country of several million people, who dared to challenge the world organization representing billions of people.

I would refresh the memory of the members of the Security Council that out of more than 80 resolutions on Israel since 1948, only two or three resolutions have been accepted by Israel. The others were disregarded with the rest of the world watching helplessly. If one adds the number of resolutions vetoed by America, then the total resolutions would be far above 100. These resolutions would have broadened the record by affirming the right of Palestinian self-determination, by calling on Israel to abandon its repressive measures against the Palestinian intifada, by sending U.N. Observers into the occupied territories to monitor Israel's behavior and, most serious, by imposing sanctions against Israel if it did not abide by the Council's resolutions.

Such a list of resolutions passed and resolutions vetoed is unparalleled in United Nations history. The list in itself forms a stunning indictment of Israel's unlawful actions over a period of 54 years and of America's complicity in them. Israel is the only country in the world today, which occupied foreign land. When it comes to resolutions affecting other countries, the UN has been very efficient and strict in its enforcement. Iraq is just one example where the prolonged embargo and sanctions have continued to date, never mind the suffering of its innocent children and the sick. East Timor is another example where the UN has acted efficiently and swiftly to "protect" the interest of East Timorees.

I would also state that, judging from past history, I do not believe the Security Council would be capable of supporting its Secretary General to implement its decision on Israel. Resolution 1402 for a complete and immediate withdrawal from the occupied territories was defied openly, and a new resolution on the Fact Finding Mission was blocked after the team was already on its way to Jenin, despite Israeli's promise to cooperate initially. Israel was not happy with the composition of the team arranged by the Secretary General and considered the team unqualified. Israel said it would only cooperate with a UN investigation if the following demands were met: Military and terrorism experts would be made full members of the investigating team. The Israeli government should decide whom the investigators could talk to and which documents it could review. The investigation would not reach any conclusions. The evidence it gathered could not be used in any war crimes prosecution. The UN team must also examine the activities of Palestinian "terrorists" in the camp over recent months. In other words, Israel would approve of the Mission only if the outcome of the investigation was favorable to them.

I would utter my disbelieve how a respectable world body like the United Nations could be rendered powerless by Ariel Sharon, a man who believes in military solutions to political problems, and in fact sees that politics are subordinate to the military. How an American president could refer to a hard line right wing Zionist, who is openly racist and violent as "a man of peace".

I would regretfully remind the Security Council that the impotency of the United Nations, especially when dealing with Israel, has downgraded and eroded its credibility in the Middle East and the world generally. Resolutions after resolutions on Israel have been more vetoed than approved by America, Israel's staunchest ally, especially in the last two decades. And when it is endorsed by the United States, it is often not implementable. The United Nations has become some thing like the extension of the American Foreign Office. When it suits the interest of US, then rightly or wrongly, the UN becomes effective. Otherwise, the United Nations is not more than a convenient tool of the super power. I would strongly suggest that in view of this, the world should now re-think seriously of the role and future of the UN. The non-political arms of the UN perhaps should be maintained, but its political body should be revamped by restructuring completely the Security Council to represent the true and just picture of the world communities or at the least by abolishing its veto system. Failing that, perhaps the UN should be disbanded altogether, and a new and more equitable world organization should be established with head quarters in Paris, Tokyo, or Switzerland.

I would end my note of resignation by saying that I would no longer be willing to be part of a world body which has been tarnished with uneven handedness in its treatment to its members. I would not also be part of an unjust world politics that is controlled by the interest of one or a few of its members. In my late age as it is, I wish to devote the remaining years of my life assisting and defending the majority of the world population who are oppressed and under privileged. Thereby, I would be able to say to my children and grand children that I had made a big mistake when I accepted the job of the UN Secretary General, but had finally decided to resign and devote the rest of my life to rectify my mistakes.

Abdillah Toha is the co-founder and Vice Chairman of the National Mandate Party of Indonesia. He is also the Executive Director of Institute for Socio-Economic and Political Studies, based in Jakarta.


  Category: World Affairs
  Topics: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Occupation, United Nations
Views: 3730

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Older Comments:
ADEYEMO JUBREEL FROM NIGERIA said:
THIS IS A VERY INTRESTING ARTICLE.IT KEEP ON BOARDRING MY MIND WHAT JUSTICE MEANT TO "HOLY, ALL KNOWING, WITH PERFECT EVERYTHING" US OF A!

O SORRY I KNOW IT. IT MEANS: JUSTICE WHEN IT IS OKAY BY US, TO HELL WITH EVERYOTHER PERSON.

I MUST CONFESS IF MY DEFINATION IS CORRECT, I REGRET TO BE PART OF THIS GENERATION WHERE THE MOST POWERFUL NATION IS GROSSLY UNJUST.
2002-08-25