Credits: REUTERS/Damir Sagolj REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Canada apparently owes the United Nations an apology. That's the view put forward by a group of supposedly eminent Canadians such as Ed Broadbent and Flora Macdonald, as well as organizations such as Amnesty International. These fine folks are upset at the reaction of the Harper cabinet to Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food.
You remember De Schutter, or Scooter as I call him. He's the Belgian academic who has never held a real job outside of the rarefied world of the United Nations or Europe's finer universities. He came to Canada, spent 11 days talking to political activists and then issued a report saying that at the same time too many Canadians are obese, we aren't doing enough to make sure people are fed.
His solutions, and he gave many, all boiled down to Canada adopting European-style socialism.
Now I don't know what you think of Europe's fiscal problems, but following a system that has been tried and is currently failing spectacularly doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Then again, neither does working with the UN.
The letter calls on Prime Minister Stephen Harper not only to apologize but also for Canada to "provide assurances to the United Nations Human Rights Council that Canada will co-operate fully with its mechanisms."
Do these people not realize that the UN human rights council accepts thuggish and dictatorial countries as members? Current members include China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and the Russian
Federation, among many others with real human rights violations on their records. These are the thugs Scooter reports to.
Of course, having thugs on its human rights council isn't the only nuttiness the UN engages in. This week it was reported Zimbabwe's longtime thug-in-chief Robert Mugabe would be made a global tourism ambassador for the UN. Come for the beaches, stay for the brutality, killings and corruption.
You have to wonder what the UN is thinking when they make appointments like this, but as we learned when they appointed North Korea to the head of a disarmament body, they weren't thinking at all. The appointments are handed out alphabetically and the country still trying to build a nuclear arsenal was next in line.
Too many Canadians still have a rosy view of the UN as a global body for good. That couldn't be further from the truth. The UN is an amoral organization that does not distinguish between thuggish regimes like Zimbabwe or North Korea and liberal democracies like Canada and the United States. To the folks at the UN, they see only member countries, not good countries and bad countries.
The truth is, Canada should be done with the UN, walk away completely.
That doesn't mean we stop working with other countries, but instead work only with those that share our values, values that go beyond the political divide inside Canada. For a start, we could work only with democracies.
It's time to give up on the image of the United Nations represented by peacekeepers in blue helmets standing for all that is good in the world. Today the UN is represented by Robert Mugabe, the sultans of Saudi Arabia and the Castro brothers - and that's not company I want to keep.