It's not often that I start badmouthing the UN. Usually I have a lot of respect for it and the work which it carries out, especially through the World Food Programme and the World Health Organisation. However, Reuters reports that today the UN's Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent a letter of congratulations to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his "win" in June's presidential election.
Chapter One of the Charter of the United Nations explicitly states that the purposes of the UN are amongst other things "promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion". Articles 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirm the right to freedom of thought, opinion, association and freely chosen representatives for all humankind. So far so good, these are extremely noble ideals which if followed would surely lead to a peaceful, egalitarian world.
And yet, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN, the man who has been chosen to extol the wonders of this Declaration and promote the rights within it, has chosen to congratulate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his "re-election". What is Mr Ban thinking? The main proliferators of bigotry, oppression and tyranny in the Middle East today are Ahmadinejad and the unelected Mullah oligarchy that put him in office. Does Mr Ban not care at all for the integrity of the Office he holds? Are "human rights" and "fundemental freedoms" simply buzzwords to him?
You'd think that after the explosive, well documented events of the past few weeks in Iran, the world would realise that the Mullahs are definitely no longer wanted by Iran's populace. But at this crucial time when people in Iran are looking for the support of the nations of the world in their fight for freedom and democracy, the Secretary-General of the UN congratulates (i.e. validates) Ahmadinejad's presidency, and by extension gives a nod of approval to the Islamic Republic to carry on. This is a slap in the face of all those who've died in the protests, who've been arrested and who've endured the torture of Iranian prisons. It is quite frankly, an unforgivable thing to do, and no amount of sugarcoated excuses on how this is just "pragmatic politics" will ever change the fact that the UN is now actively continuing to appease a fascist regime.
Comments are most welcome.