Admit it. How many of you secretly enjoyed eating popcorn while watching the circus show the United Nations had become? Who can forget the performance given by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, which featured invocations of sulphurous smoke and the devil himself; or wily Yassir Arafat the gunslinger; or even the slightly more refined Nikita Kruschev, the shoe banger?
Despite the passing of those three, and the sartorial splendor of Muammar Gaddafi joining the others in clown heaven, or elsewhere, the U.N. is back in the entertainment business.
The international body has chosen the Islamic Republic of Iran as rapporteur of the U.N. Disarmament and International Security Committee. While it is true that the rapporteur is not the same as the chairman, it is still a leadership position with a seat on the dais of this 193 member committee. The position also has enough teeth to cause problems.
The rapporteur of a U.N. committee is responsible for various written documents produced by the committee, it maintains the speakers list, is in charge of the roll call and has responsibility for other administrative tasks.
One should first ask how it is possible that Iran is even a member of the committee which oversees all international security matters within the purview of the U.N. Charter.
Here’s something that should tickle the irony bone of all readers. This committee oversees “the general principles of cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as principles governing disarmament and the regulation of armaments; promotion of cooperative arrangements and measures aimed at strengthening stability through lower levels of armaments.”
How many years has it been that the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors were led down endless hallways leading to shut doors in their quest to uncover Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons? And the guys who slam shut, lock the door and throw away the keys are among those in charge of those inspections? Actually, this farce is at least as good as anything Chavez ever did. But far more dangerous.
“Allowing Iran to be on the U.N. committee dealing with nuclear disarmament and weapons proliferation is like inviting Assad, the Syrian dictator responsible for the death of 100,000 of his own people, to be the head of the population census bureau,” Israeli U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor said last month in response to Iran’s initial bid to become the rapporteur of the U.N. committee.
HOW UN COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP IS SELECTED
How is this possible? Here is the how U.N. committees are constructed.
There are six main U.N. committees, the Disarmament and International Security Committee being the First Committee. Any member of the U.N. is eligible for membership on any committee. The members choose a chairman before the U.N. session begins, and then the members chose three vice-chairmen and a rapporteur. Any committee member (other than special technicians or experts who do not represent member nations) is eligible to hold any of these positions.
Although the rules provide that “These officers shall be elected on the basis of equitable geographical distribution, experience and personal competence,” the elections are held by secret ballot. There’s the problem right there.
And Rule 111 is a tad alarming. It provides that the chairman as well as the rapporteur of a committee “may be accorded precedence for the purpose of explaining the conclusions arrived at by their committee.”
Some may take cold comfort that at least Iran was not chosen as the chairman of the Disarmament Committee. Don’t. Committee chairmen do not have a vote; rapporteurs do.
SELECTION SEEN AS INSULT TO ISRAEL
The selection of Iran in this official capacity, on the heels of the Israeli Prime Minister’s two public appearances forcefully laying out the existential dangers and fundamental untrustworthiness of Iran must be considered a slap in the face. One minor mitigating factor is that the only other nominee for the position was Kuwait, not exactly a model of best behavior, but also a country not engaged in a race to destroy first the Jews and then the rest of the kuffar.
It was no surprise that the BBC represented its version of a report card on Netanyahu’s speeches, concluding that most Israeli newspapers and all the Iranian media gave him failing grades. “Iranian media criticized the speech as “Iranophobic” while some Israeli newspapers found it unconvincing.” Thanks, guys. No popcorn for you.Lori Lowenthal Marcus
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com
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