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#################### Geoff Seidner
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
5 oct Jen Oriel Big lies as the UN suppresses truth
In his first month as Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull’s most decisive actions have been in cultural and international relations. His government has signed Australia up to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, announced a bid for membership of the Security Council and declared candidacy for a seat on the Human Rights Council.
The multilateral moves have taken a nation accustomed to Tony Abbott’s more hawkish foreign policy by surprise. While the renewal of soft power relations with the UN may be viewed favourably, Australia’s new era of cosmopolitanism should be tempered by political realism.
Even ardent advocates of the classical liberal ideals that inspired the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are beginning to recognise there is something rotten in the heart of the UN. Since the turn of the century, it has been beset by corruption and a culture of profligacy which would likely elicit strong criticism were the organisation a private enterprise. But it is the emerging culture of dishonesty at the UN which poses the greatest threat to its legitimacy as an independent and trustworthy arbiter of human rights and justice worldwide.
Dishonesty and double standards mark the rise of the UN in the realm of 21st-century human rights. In Australia, Europe, Canada and the US, human rights commissions have undermined evidentiary standards by supplanting empirical truth with emotionalism, campaigned against border integrity, criticised national security policy, engaged in judicial activism and sought to censor freethinkers. They have been unrelenting in the pursuit of a neo-Marxist social agenda that respects neither parliamentary process nor the views of citizens who pay their wages.
The most pressing problem with UN human rights advocates, however, is their use of dishonesty to achieve political ends. When attorney-general George Brandis rightly criticised Australian Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs for fibbing about the presence of armed guards at immigrant processing centres, he was accused of violating her human rights.
Rather than correcting Triggs’s misrepresentation of the truth, the UN defended it.
Michel Forst, the UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders, asked the government to explain its actions while condemning its alleged violation of Triggs’s rights. The violation of truth was not raised as a matter of vital interest. While that may offend our moral sensibilities, it is consistent with UN values.
The UN has created a new value system where the truth is subordinated to human rights activism. For example, in the report Human Rights Defenders, it states that the “critical test” of a human rights defender is not to be correct — to base their case on objective and validated truth — but to pursue rights. Human rights have been transformed into a master ideology that transcends truth.
As history has shown, the supersession of objective truth with political ideology produces big lies. The big lie of the modern age is that secure-border policy produces more harm to humankind than it prevents. The UN is a powerful purveyor of the lie that effectively protects people-smugglers and frequently proves lethal to their human cargo.
In the organisation’s latest attack on Australia’s highly successful secure-border policy, UN migrant rights rapporteur Francois Crepeau whipped up a media storm on the false claim he was denied adequate access to immigration centres.
The leftist media reported Crepeau’s hysterical claims as though they constituted fact. Nowhere was his history of criticising conservative government policy reported. His recent attack describing defence of the continuous historical tradition of British culture as “bullshit” went unremarked. No one questioned his ability to conduct an impartial investigation into Australia’s immigration processing centres given he is one of only eight council members of the Global Detention Project, an activist group highly critical of such centres.
The Turnbull government passed its first test on border security by refusing to submit to Crepeau’s fantastical claims. But it faces an uphill battle to convince the electorate that deeper engagement with the UN is in the national interest and will produce return on investment.
The Syrian crisis has exposed the UN’s radical impotence in dealing with the major security threat of our age, Islamist terrorism. Its bloated bureaucracy is too dilatory to respond to the multi-ethnic civil wars that have emerged as the greatest global threat to human rights. Rather than realise the liberal universalist order out of such chaos, the UN appears beholden to its greatest detractors, communist and Islamist states.
Russia has emerged as the strongman of the UN in responding to the Syrian crisis and Islamist states now comprise the largest voting bloc at the UN General Assembly. The world’s worst human rights violators populate the Human Rights Council. The minority of UN members that constitute the liberal democratic world order which inspired its inception cannot compete with the sheer size and determination of authoritarian states to overwhelm it.
Turnbull has initiated a marathon of diplomacy by committing Australia to the UN until at least 2030, if our bid for Security Council membership is successful. We will undoubtedly hear more about how deeper engagement with the UN will form a part of Turnbull’s recast foreign policy strategy.
The easy route for the government would be to stage a UN love-in with the leftist media and ignore the warning signs about declining public trust in the liberal institutional order. But there is little point in denying that the free world’s relationship with the UN is rapidly approaching a tipping point where we must decide whether to dig in and deepen engagement, or declare it a lost cause and start anew.
The UN remains a vital part of the liberal international order, but it has abused public trust by elevating ideology over truth and defending the indefensible in a desperate bid to remain relevant. In its recasting of foreign affairs, the Turnbull government should embrace a critical and transformative approach to international relations, acknowledging the UN requires serious structural reform if it is to become a force for good in the 21st century.
Jennifer Oriel is a political scientist and commentator.
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Thank you for an excellent article Jennifer Oriel. I am however appalled at the lack of transparency on this 'done deal' from the new PM and Ms Bishop. If it was SO good you would imagine they would be signing it's praises, but instead we get obfuscation and oblique answers.On what authority did this government sign such an important agreement? The UN is a corrupt body who has outlived it's usefulness. Of the 193 signatory nations, 59 are Islamic and vote as a block. Surely this is of concern to western democratic nations whose human rights and freedoms are at odds with Islamic Sharia Law?Australia is still a 'representative democracy - not a totalitarian dictatorship' but the rights and opinions of the people who voted these elected officials into power are being ignored. Time to ask some hard questions!
The Australian revealed this week that Britain and Saudi Arabia discussed a vote-trade to support each other’s election to the UNHRC ahead of the November 2013 elections, with Britain ignoring the nation’s human rights abuses.
The Australian can now also reveal that Saudi Arabia has successfully shut down an inquiry into its bombing of Yemen, using its influence on the UNHRC, which is comprised of 47 member states, not including Australia.
What an excellent article. The claims are backed up with facts, the only way to present a persuasive case. The problems that currently beset the UN are indicative of an organisation that has achieved all it can in its current guise and who's whose purpose is no longer relevant in the current global environment. The purpose of the UN is now outdated and no longer suitable in dealing with humanitarian issues in today's new and developing global order.
The UN has achieved all that it can under the direction of its current charter that was established soon after WW2. The world has changed so much and the UN must change in response to the current global environment. The UN should reassess its purpose, its membership base and structural organisation to best deal with the current humanitarian challenges in the current global environment.
Isn't it the greatest irony & insult that Australia is criticized by the UN, made up largely of oppressive authoritarian regimes & theocracies? The hypocrisy of our UN / UNHCR apologists (green/left) over here in Oz is breathtaking.
All it needs to do to remain relevant is prevent some genocides and protect civilians in war zones. It can't ever agree to actually do anything until it's too late. It takes a diplomat's career lifetime to ratify agreements on, for example, fisheries. Total waste of space and money.
Newsflash. The Dutch Politician ;Geert Wilders, who was invited to the inauguration of the ALA Party on the 20th of October, is having his visa stonewalled by the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. Obviously Turnbull 's Government is getting worried it might upset their Muslim voters!
The UN has alway's been a tool for Social Engineering for the Left. They signed us up for all kinds of social manipulation and forced Australia be compliant to the engineering because otherwise Australia would be in breach with the UN. Very tricky. So it comes as no big surprise Turnbull and Bishop are going that way to. Ominous for our Australia!
I believe that the UN is probably THE most corrupt organisation on earth and needs urgent reform. Having said that I pose this question: Is it easier to reform from the inside or from the outside. Corruption begins at the centre, and so the closer you are to the centre, the better placed will be your shot at reform. We need to ally with open democratic countries to rid the UN of the influence of evil.
Where is Nigel Farage. He is honest and brutal towards the members of the UN. He sees right through them and their actions, but when he challenges them, even in public, they will not defend themselves, as their position is indefensible. He is trying his hardest to get the British to get out of the EU and the UN Hope he succeeds and then Australia might follow his lead. I hope Australia learns from this.
Jennifer Oriel you have expressed so well what so many of us feel about human rights and the UN. Given a free vote I'm sure majority would vote to get out of every single treaty we have been signed up to.The UN have failed in every single undertaking, except to suck in too many politicians into signing them when clearly not at all objective. And third world members make n bone in telling us like they did John Howard in Brisbane not long back, they intend to punish their old colonial masters of which, Australia is one.
I am ashamed for Australia that these fake "conservatives" Turnbull/Bishop are schmusing the UN who have long since become "Human Rights Violators Central Station". An originally admirable organisation who has been corrupted to a point where the appoint as head of "Human Rights" Saudi Arabia !
Shame on you Julie Bishop - especially - as you are a woman.
@Rita Makes me feel better that we have people like Jennifer as role models. Along with others, like Miranda and Janet who speak common sense angle on all matters truthfully, without the "dressing up" IE porkies the UN puts on stealing our sovereignty as its ultimate endgame. Bob Brown let it out in his final retirement speech.
@Ted Power has done something to Bishop! her clothes become more expensive by the day, her face looks as though she has had a makeover.
Her manner has become so regal, remote from ordinary Australians.
She turned on the man that got the Coalition into government, after enduring years as leader of the opposition, to hitch her wagon with the vain arrogant treacherous Turnbull. Julie Bishop stinks as far as I am concerned.
It was not reported in the mainstream press, that Turnbull was booed at the football, i am sure there were a few for the couture wearing Julie.
@ Veronica and Ted... She has to look good while she struts around the stage at the UN Conferences and while grovelling to the Head of the UN Council, Saudi Arabia, for Australia to be awarded a place in the Council..... Lucky us.
On second thoughts, perhaps she should throw a burka in her suitcase as well.
There are a number of threats to Australia's security and sovereignty. All are significant, but can there be any doubt that the UN is the greatest of these? We would be well advised to ignore this neo-Marxist outfit completely.
Mr Turnbull's interest historically is with Goldman Sachs. At the Earth Summit it was put to the assembled countries that there should be a bank account created for the money that would flow in from the carbon credits. They all agreed and the resulting bank was a private bank owned by Rothschild which has changed its name a few times.The involvement of private finance with the UN has been covered in depth in many reputable places on the internet. Did the Cabinet request this involvement with UN from our consultative PM?
Prof Triggs is an example of what happens when bodies like the HRC are set up to promote a ‘rights’ agenda which are not counter-balanced by a set of ‘responsibilities’; it’s time to re-badge the HRC into the Human Rights and Responsibilities Commission to ensure that all rights are matched by codes of responsibilities.At present the HRC commissioners seem to think it’s their job to kick start a new age of enlightenment all based ‘rights’ which is another way of opening the door even wider to money grabbing civil rights lawyers.Jack Straw British Home Secretary who introduced a ‘bill of rights’ into the UK, later said it was the worst days work in his life; he added that if he had his time over again he would have introduced a ‘bill of responsibilities’ at the same time.
@Helen. Because Triggs' job was created by an act of Parliament- Gillard's idea ( captain's pick ) & it would take the same to get rid of her. What's the likelihood ? Obviously done that way for that reason.
Just as the planet is divided into climate zones that are not compatible with each other (try to grow a coconut palm tree in the arctic circle or rear a polar bear near the equator) so there are cultures/societies that are incompatible.
How can one find a common denominator for such diversity and create a one-world concept such as the UN.
The UN is an over-paid retirement gig for politicians past their use by dates, deposed union leaders, unemployable NGO hangers-on and other ideologues from academia and the far left, all looking to make a pile for themselves. Consequently its current leaders are never going to stand up to the social engineers, the truth manipulators and the autocratic members who use it to line their own pockets. That’s why it continually fails at what ever it tries. We should wise up and stop throwing so much good money after bad.The West would be better off ring fencing the UN’s international security stuff and junking all the social and environmental stuff, we already know we can deal with these things at a Nation State level; so we don’t need supra-national governments as a conscience.
@Helen. What annoys me about Julie Bishop's public rationale for signing up to the UN Agenda 2030 : 17 Goals of a Globalist Government ( that last part is rarely if ever quoted in the press) , is only quoted as for the empowerment of women & girls. Of course a laudatory goal, but she never mentions , amongst the other goals, ( for those who have read them, looked at the UN 's past history in these areas, & thought about the long-term consequences for Australia's sovereignty & independence,) the goal of eradicating poverty & the obvious intention for Western countries to be pressured to take further large numbers of immigrants, which has happened in Europe recently, bringing massive social discord & divisiveness. Just for eg. , reports of people in Germany being turned out of their rental accommodation to be given to incoming " refugees", because it , & many other countries, just cannot cope with the numbers.
Analysts have stated , this mass migration will go on for years. Who believes that the UN will not step up significant pressure on Australia to take many more than the 12,000 already agreed to? The UN has already displayed , by their aggressive, bullying demands by UN migrant rights rapporteur, that that is exactly what Australia can expect. After all, lies are no problem apparently when there is an ideological war to be won ( see untruthful statements by Crepeau & Triggs ).
Who also believes that our new PM would withstand the onslaught on the UN's pressure once we have become a signatory to the Agenda containing so many Trojan Horses ?
@Jeffrey Unemployable NGO hangers on AND delegates from African countries who simply refuse to go home at the end of their term, so they stay in the building. There are people there sitting in offices using manual typewriters. Can you imagine it. Every time I see a picture of the impoverished people of Ghana, I think of its most famous export, Kofi Annan. He of the smooth manner and the mellifluous tones. As the ex Secretary General, he has never gone home. Still lives in New York, I understand. Tough life.