Reports of transgressions perpetrated by the United Nations are
routine, from Peru to East Timor to Kosovo. Not a day ticks by that
some new story doesn't surface detailing the United Nations' mishandling
of operations or outright abuse. Typically these assaults present
themselves as peacekeeping interventions, humanitarian aid, education or
human rights enforcement. Thus far the United Nations has escaped
official sanction. That may soon change.
Suit has been filed on behalf of two Rwandan women who charge the
United Nations with complicity in the 1994 genocidal massacre of 800,000
Tutsi people, approximately 75 percent of Rwanda's population. The suit
is the first ever in the history of the United Nations. As countries
move toward ratification of the International Criminal Court (ICC)
treaty with its sweeping powers to indict individuals and nations, this
suit raises a grave question: who will police the United Nations'
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According to a Jan. 11 story carried by Independent News (UK), the
Rwandan women are represented by Michael Hourigan, who has resigned from
his position with the U.N.'s International Criminal Tribunal. Hourigan,
a former South Australian crown prosecutor working in Kigali, became
frustrated by attempts to block his official investigation of the Hutu
assault on the Tutsis. He is joined in the suit by Geoffrey Robertson,
an Australian human rights attorney. The Independent reports, "The
women -- the widow of a former Rwandan Supreme Court judge and the
sister of a Tutsi former cabinet minister -- accuse U.N. soldiers who
were meant to defend their families of either handing them over to their
killers or running away." Hourigan, interviewed by Melbourne Age, noted
the murders were "caused by the cowardice, negligence and bungling of
The suit comes on the heels of an internal investigation of the
U.N.'s activity during Rwandan conflict. Chaired by former Swedish Prime
Minister, Ingyar Carlsson, the assessment panel concluded that the U.N.
peacekeeping forces in Rwanda failed to respond to reports of genocide.
One of the plaintiffs, Anonciata Kavaruganda, widow of Rwandan Supreme
Court judge, Joseph Kavaruganda, claims her husband was murdered
"because he sympathized with the Tutsis." According to the Independent,
Kavaruganda reports that "U.N. troops from Ghana, responsible for
protecting her family, drank and socialized with Hutus while she and her
children were being tortured."
Rony Braunam, former president of Doctors Without Borders, confirmed
the failure of the peacekeeping efforts. His group reported: "The
humanitarian intervention, far from representing a bulwark against evil,
was in fact one of its appendages. ... The social and political role of
humanitarian aid was simply to state-manage goodwill, to organize the
spectacle of compassion."
U.N. secretary general, Kofi Annan conceded with "deep remorse" that
the U.N. had failed to respond appropriately to the genocide. Annan was
head of U.N. peacekeeping operations at the time of the Rwandan
massacre. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, documents indicate
Annan ignored warnings of genocide sent to the U.N.'s New York
Headquarters by U.N. commander in Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire of
Canada. The cables Dallaire sent under "most immediate" status just
three days before the General Assembly met to discuss the crisis in
Rwanda were not made available to the Assembly. Documents given to
Melbourne Age include cables that requested additional troops and
insisted U.N. troops would stand by as Tutsis were handed over "for
inevitable killing rather than use their weapons to save local people,"
and that government controlled radio was "exhorting the population to
destroy all Tutsis." Annan did not forward the cabled information to
the U.N. Security Council.
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This suit and similar events serve as stark reminders that the U.N.
and its agencies are not infallible or even consistently trustworthy.
Credible voices have presented evidence of a distinct U.N. agenda at
odds with many American legal traditions and cultural values. The
International Criminal Court treaty is awaiting ratification by the
nations. It places foreign judges, with no particular allegiance to the
American Constitution, over American citizens. Recall the 1997 report
to the U.N. Human Rights Commission written by the committee's "special
rapporteur," that decried the "arbitrary" use of capital punishment in
the U.S. Once the ICC is ratified, pressure on the United States to
conform to world judicial norms set by the United Nations will increase.
Sober questions must be posed to all nations before they yield
sovereignty in exchange for both a United Nations global peacekeeping
force and its global tribunal, the International Criminal Court (ICC).
There is no restraining mechanism to check abuse of these proposed
planetary powers. While cautious voices debate the merits of the U.N.
as the world's peacekeeping body, and the proper jurisdiction of the
ICC, pro-globalist forces such as the World Civil Society Conference
push tirelessly to establish "conditions for global governance,"
including a world police force. The balance tips in their favor:
Kofi Annan, now U.N. General Secretary, in his keynote address to WOCSOC
in December, referred to the organization as representative of "global
people power" and implored them to agitate governments when they "are
unwilling to act."
Annan's remarks are the prelude to the Millennium Forum at the United
Nations in May. Forces within the inner circle of U.N. and
Non-Governmental Organizations are poised to present a "People's
Assembly" to join the United Nations. (NGO's are non elected, non
accountable lobbying groups -- many funded by corporate foundations.)
This People's Assembly was also referred to as a "Parliament of
Humankind" during the State of the World Forum in San Francisco in
October. The State of the World Forum, a creation of Mikhail Gorbachev,
drew the world's liberal glitterati to a posh six-day confab where world
governance, as an expansion of the U.N. and a "global means of
enforcement," was touted at a session led by the World Federalist
Each year the State of the World Forum gathers marquee names from the
ranks of Nobel laureates, ambassadors, politicians, actors, and even a
psychic or two. Past speakers have included Ted Turner, Desmond Tutu,
Earth Council president, Maurice Strong, David Rockefeller, Queen Noor
of Jordan, John Naisbitt, Jane Goodall, Carl Sagan, the witch "Starhawk
and a covey of U.S. congressmen. Yet, despite the prophecy of Infoseek
CEO, Steve Kirsch, the nude parade of Patch Adams and Helen Caldecott,
the cosmic healing advice of Deepak Chopra or the posturing of Jesse
Jackson, not a whisper of this year's Forum was heard from the major
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The media blackout left unreported such roundtable sessions as, "The
United Nations in Ten years; The United Nations in One Hundred Years,"
which conceded that the U.N. was only a foundation for the world
federation which would require a voluntary army to "deter human rights
abuses." The moderator, Tad Daly, director of Global Security Programs
for the State of the World Forum, was joined by retired senator Alan
Cranston and Tom Spencer, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Security and
Defense Policy Committee of the European Parliament. Participants
advocated abolishing the veto power of the U.N. Security Council -- a
dated mechanism favoring the winners of World War II -- adopting instead
a "Parliament of Humankind." World peace was possible if a "planetary
patriotism" for the "Federal Republic of Earth" supplanted nationalism.
Far removed from open public debate, these planetary patriots proposed a
restructured U.N.: The General Assembly should abandon the one country
one vote system in favor of a weighted voting process. This proposal
would provide an "equitable sharing of power" among the more populous
nations such as China and India.
Do Americans believe it wise to permit a greater share of U.N.
deliberative power to accrue to Communist China than to the United
States? Does anyone believe such a provision would increase world
Two days after the State of the World Forum closed at the glitzy
Fairmont of San Francisco, president Clinton stood before the Forum of
Federations inaugural conference at Chateau Mont-Tremblant, in Canada.
He said, "... I see the whole concept of federalism emerging
internationally. ..." Clinton claimed the U.S. was working to "redefine
federalism for the 21st century." Careful to make a limited concession
to sovereignty, Clinton admitted there were no easy answers for
arranging powers to protect the responsibilities of member states. In
other words, there are no guarantees that nations will be allowed to
meet their responsibilities to defend and protect their citizens. He
noted, "... We become more of a federalist world when the United Nations
takes a more active role in stopping genocide."
The genocide complicity suit filed against the U.N. on behalf of the
two Rwandan women bears close scrutiny. Since the "federalist world"
the global elites envision for us is about as likely to protect certain
ethnic populations or political groups as Kofi Annan's troops were in
protecting the Tutsis from genocide, the question remains: If we forfeit
sovereignty with the advent of global governance, who polices the