Tuesday, June 19, 2007

UN - A poor record on Terrorism

UN 101

3. What is the United Nations doing to combat terrorism?
While terrorism is an international problem that one would expect to be addressed at the international level, the record of the United Nations on terrorism has been exceedingly poor.
A large source of the UN's inability to combat terrorism has been the varied value systems of its member states that prevent a consensus on what terrorism actually means. While the UN has issued vague statements condemning terrorism, it has been largely handicapped by the adage that "One country's terrorist is another country's freedom fighter."
If the UN labels a particular group as a terrorist organization, it is issuing a de facto judgment on that group's objectives and condemning them as unacceptable in the international order. Additionally, UN action is largely curtailed by the domestic political ambitions of its member states that are frequently at odds with the best and most humane policy.
In the case of the war against Iraq, several members of the Security Council refused to give their support, claiming a variety of reasons. Later investigations revealed that their citizens and leaders were greatly profiting by illegal relationships with Saddam Hussein's government through a corrupt aid program.
When no consensus can be reached upon the nature of terrorism and its appropriate solution, and no action can be taken because of individual countries' independent agendas, it is not surprising that the UN has been largely ineffective in dealing with terrorism.
Nevertheless, the United States recognizes the importance of the UN in fighting terrorism and is therefore working to achieve the necessary reform to improve its capacities and credibility.


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