Friday, 27 June 2014

The Lawless United Nations

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The United Nations Charter contains an important limitation on the power of the world body in its Article 2, paragraph 7. There we find, “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the jurisdiction of any state.” The Senate promptly approved the Charter in 1945 and the United States became one of the first members of the world body.

Pro-UN authors Leland M. Goodrich and Edvard Hambro wrote in their 1949 book Charter of the United Nations: Commentary and Documents that the paragraph we have noted constitutes “the most substantial limitation” on the UN’s power in the entire document. In 1966, U.S. diplomat James J. Wadsworth, another champion of the UN, pointed to the same limitation in his book The Glass House: The United Nations in Action.” He wrote: “It is a foregone conclusion that had this provision been omitted from the Charter, literally dozens of prospective members in 1945 would have balked at ratification — certainly the United States would have been among them.”

But the UN regularly ignores Article 2, Paragraph 7 and grasps every opportunity to add to its ominously growing clout.

Acting on a complaint filed by the Council of Canadians, the UN has been asked to rule that the shutting off of water to many Detroit domiciles constitutes a denial of a fundamental human right. Because of thousands of unpaid water bills, the Detroit Water and Sewage Department did indeed shut off the water to 3,025 houses (many of which are unoccupied) after receiving no response to its April notices that a shut-off would be initiated because of non-payment. The threat was sent to 44,273 residences and resulted in remittances of $400,000. In other words, a huge number of the scofflaws paid up.

Water and Sewage Department official Bill Johnson noted that the threat to shut off the water had to be made. He said, “The water bill isn’t the first bill people pay, it’s the last one — after the credit card, after the cell phone, after the [TV] cable.” But he knows that people who do pay their bill for water “are picking up the cost for people who aren’t paying.” And he complained that people who make outrageous claims about Detroit’s water situation never come up with any plan enabling them to “supply the best drinking water in the world for free.”

Canadian Maude Barlow, the chair of the liberal Council of Canadians, crossed into the United States to visit Detroit and, in her 92-page report sent to the UN, she maintained that shutting off the water was a grave injustice. She knew that the world body’s General Assembly had officially named clean drinking water a human right in 2010. Whatever happened to the oft-praised good relations existing between our nation and our northern neighbor? Who gave a Canadian the right to protest what happens in the United States? Even more, what about the UN Charter’s limitations on such meddling by the world body?

Catarina de Albuquerque, the UN’s special rapporteur on water rights, hasn’t yet commented on the Detroit situation. But, in 2012, she sent a fiery letter to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson scorching the city’s leaders with claims that its homeless population didn’t have access to sanitation and clean water.

Beyond Detroit’s water and sewage problems, and even beyond the unfriendly meddling by a liberal Canadian, the most important issue here is UN lawlessness. If it won’t be limited by its own Charter, how is anyone going to stop its march toward total control of the planet? The sane recourse, even for Canada, is to withdraw from the United Nations, the sooner the better.

John F. McManus is president of The John Birch Society and publisher of The New American. This column appeared originally at the insideJBS blog and is reprinted here with permission.

 

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