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Role of international institutions

Zafar Bangash

There is a plethora of institutions masquerading as global do-gooders. Some of them might even be doing some good work but that is incidental to the overall objectives for which they were created.

There is a plethora of institutions masquerading as global do-gooders. Some of them might even be doing some good work but that is incidental to the overall objectives for which they were created. Not one institution can trace its origins beyond the Second World War, confirming the real purpose for their creation: to serve the interests of the victors of the most destructive war in history. Of these, the United Nations (UN) (and within it the Security Council) is best known, if only for notoriety. The ostensible purpose for which the UN was created was to prevent wars and to maintain global peace. One need not be a political genius to figure out that since 1945 there has been anything but peace in the world. Most wars have been waged by the US, the biggest warmonger in the world, closely followed by the erstwhile Soviet Union before its demise in 1991.

The Security Council has five permanent members with veto power. There are ten rotating members with limited powers. The very notion of veto is anachronistic and runs contrary to the principles of equality, fairness and justice. Why should five countries — the US, Britain, France, Russia (previously the Soviet Union) and China — have the right to impose their will on the rest of the world? The US and Britain primarily control the Security Council and impose their will on the rest of the members through economic, political, and diplomatic pressure. Until 1971, the People’s Republic of China was barred from the Security Council because the US propagated the fiction that Formosa (now called Taiwan) represented the one billion Chinese and thus occupied the seat. Countries like Iran that refuse to submit to US-supported Security Council resolutions are ostracized because such defiance runs counter to Washington’s interests but others, like the Zionist State, that has defied more than 70 Security Council resolutions, has incurred no US reprobation. Such resolutions first had to run the gauntlet of a US veto threat and were watered down before being passed yet the Zionist entity refuses to abide even by such mild resolutions.

If the UN is the West’s bully pulpit in diplomacy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bankare its financial cops. Lest someone think, the World Bank is not a bank in the conventional sense; countries do not deposit money in it for safekeeping. Its real function is to ensure the rest of the world tailor their policies to advance the West’s and the US’s economic agenda. The fact that only an American citizen can be the Bank’s president confirms its function as an instrument of US policy. The IMF, the other leg of the financial stool, can only have a European head and is even more anachronistic. Its structural adjustment programs have wreaked havoc in Africa. A continent that is neither poor nor short of resources has been ravaged and its people pushed to the verge of starvation.

The West has also created a number of other organizations, among them the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Court of Justice. Of these, the IAEA has gained the most notoriety if only because far from preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and forcing nuclear powers to dismantle their lethal wares to make the world a safer place, it has been used by the US as a blunt instrument against countries whose policies the US does not approve. Thus, Iran that has no nuclear weapons and is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is threatened with dire consequences but Israel that refuses to sign the NPT and possesses more than 400 nuclear weapons is not even slapped on the wrist. Last September when the IAEA conference passed a resolution demanding Israel sign the NPT and open its nuclear facilities for international inspection, the US said it was “one-sided” and unfair. The call by countries like Iran and Egypt to make the Middle East a nuclear free zone has similarly been dismissed by the US as unworkable because it does not take into account Israel’s “concerns”. Obviously, as far as the US is concerned, the world was created to pander to the Zionists’ obnoxious behavior.

The question, however, that must be asked is, if other countries are so concerned about the unfairness of the Western-created and controlled institutions, why do they not create institutions of their own to address such concerns? There are a number of organizations such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM),Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) created by non-Western countries. Unfortunately, most members of these organizations are manipulated and bullied by the West. Despite its high-sounding name, NAM is neither non-aligned nor effective. One of its founding members, India, was closely aligned with the Soviet Union and has now gravitated into the US orbit. How quickly India shed its socialism for capitalism sheds light on the lack of any principled commitment by its leaders to any socio-political and ideological values; and if the largest democracy in the world can do this without flinching or a second thought, what does it say about both communism and capitalism? The OIC is in even greater disarray. Barring few, the rest of its 57 members do not take its activities seriously. Even the OIC secretariat staff jokes about its purpose; “Oh I See!” is a common refrain heard among its members, whenever its name is mentioned.

So what can be done? Plenty, if there is a will to address at least some of the problems facing the world. There are a number of countries that consider the present world order unfair. These include the Islamic Republic of Iran, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and some others. They can begin the process of creating a new grouping to confront the international bullies. Further, ordinary people must be mobilized globally to form alliances. True, people cannot force their will on countries, especially those with large militaries armed with lethal weapons, but people’s power must not be underestimated especially in boycott campaigns. There is rising global awareness that the US and its allies have caused havoc for ordinary people. This awareness is increasing even in America. Reaction against the G20 summit in Pittsburgh (USA) last September and the proposed rallies and people’s summit against the forthcoming G8/G20 summits in Huntsville and Toronto (June 26–28), reflect this rising tide of anger. This needs to be channeled into constructive and productive avenues through alliances among people of all backgrounds. Simply holding rallies, shouting slogans and then going home believing that is all that is required will not solve the problems. Only when the greedy multinationals’ bank accounts begin to hurt can there be hope for meaningful change.

Article from

Crescent International Vol. 39, No. 3

Jumada' al-Ula' 16, 14312010-05-01

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