May 8, 2001
3:08 AM   Subscribe

Last week, the United States lost its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

The U.S. has been voted out of something again, losing its seat on the International Narcotics Control Board, a worldwide body which monitors drugs manufacture and illicit drugs trading.
posted by lia (33 comments total)
Does anyone really care? The U.S. is the biggest contributor to the U.N. Do they honestly think that we will continue to contribute money like we used to without some supervision? U.S. elected officials may be a little loose with hard earned American money, but they aren't stupid. Personally, I don't think we need to be on every single U.N. board and committee, but then again I don't think we should be pouring money into the U.N money pit either.
posted by car00003 at 3:27 AM on May 8, 2001

Hmm, I seem to recall that the we (US) also owed the UN the most money. Maybe that has been rectified?

Side note. I believe this was posted just a few days ago.
posted by a3matrix at 4:32 AM on May 8, 2001

one thing we don't do is reliably pay our UN dues.

oh, and from US thrown off second UN body:

There has been speculation that the US lost the votes because of joint action between European countries and against a backdrop of late payment of Washington's dues to the United Nations.
posted by palegirl at 4:46 AM on May 8, 2001

Revenge is important. Take away their parking privileges and haul their limos to some dump (redundanat?) in Jersey.
posted by Postroad at 4:58 AM on May 8, 2001

Does anyone care? Well, some people (not Americans perhaps) think this is great news!

The US has been throttling debate for too long. With America losing some of its influence, we may get see a little less moronic, war-on-drugs pigheadness and perhaps even a chance for trying some rational alternatives.

Example? How about UN INCB interference in Australia's attempts to trial safe heroin injectiing rooms?

This is just a reminder for those who think the U.N. (let alone Metafilter) is a US-only affair.
posted by lagado at 5:06 AM on May 8, 2001

a3matrix, nope, not a double post; although if you'd moused over the first link you might've realized that. :)

Thanks for the links, lagado, especially the second one. From that article: "Dutch health officials have listed interference by the US government as their second largest policy problem." [emphasis mine]

Second largest!
posted by lia at 5:52 AM on May 8, 2001

If only the United States could simply be voted off the entire face of the Earth.
posted by donkeymon at 6:35 AM on May 8, 2001

Anyone that tells the UN to go screw off is okay in my book. Go Australia!

And donkeymon: If you feel that way, why are you here?
posted by aaron at 6:45 AM on May 8, 2001

Maybe the UN should move out of New York. Build one of those huge love-boat-on-steroids floating hells they're talking about building, call it the UN, and park it in a different port each year?
posted by pracowity at 7:11 AM on May 8, 2001 [1 favorite]

Pracowity, your my new hero, love it( Im not kidding) That is the type of thinking I like. i wanted to rip one, but you said it all. I wish they would vote us off the military board or what have you, let the New E.C., Russia and china patrol these little countries by themselves...why dont they, THEY WOULD NOT LEAVE.
posted by clavdivs at 7:52 AM on May 8, 2001

That 1999 link is a little outdated. The Senate, led by an obstinate Jesse Helms, refused to authorize payment over a several-year period, but cut a deal in 1999 to keep up (and not lose our General Assembly seat) that was tied to certain budgetary reforms (audits, staff reductions, etc.) within the UN's main agencies. We still held back a significant portion until outgoing Ambassador Holbrooke cut a deal last December that reduces the going-forward share of the UN budget for which the US is responsible, from 25% to 22% (and the peacekeeping share from 31% to 27%). Now, following this deal, the Senate -- even though the peacekeeping amount fell short of the Helms-Biden bill's 25% demand -- voted in February to approve the new payment schedule.

The House, however, has held up approving the payments, so the US has remained in arrears, months after the UN thought we had all agreed to the new schedule.
posted by dhartung at 7:57 AM on May 8, 2001

donkeymon, don't worry, the New Isolationists like clavdivs and pracowity above are happily existing in their own personal mindset where every OTHER country has been voted off the face of the earth. If you try to remind them where we get our oil or where we sell our goods, they put their hands over their ears and eyes and go "Blah blah blah blah".
posted by dhartung at 8:00 AM on May 8, 2001

> the New Isolationists like ... pracowity

You have me wrong, dhartung. I said that the UN might consider leaving the US -- changing locations regularly -- not that the US should leave the UN. I'm for full and fair engagement from all members and for each member paying what it can afford. The US wants to run everything and pay as little as possible for the privilege. Other members of the UN appear to be letting the US know what they think about that.
posted by pracowity at 8:37 AM on May 8, 2001

clavdivs, you don't get out much, do you?
posted by lia at 9:17 AM on May 8, 2001

Here's my perspective: It seems whenever we're at peace, the UN hates America. They hate us throwing our weight around, running the show, etc.

But when the proverbial poop hits the fan (Iraq, Serbia, Somalia) all the UN does is issue its "naughty, naughty" condemnations. Then they turn to us to bust out our military, because now they need us.
posted by owillis at 9:20 AM on May 8, 2001

lia: What kind of comment is that?
posted by frednorman at 9:26 AM on May 8, 2001

owillis: the UN has also been a useful beard for expedient US/UK action against "rogue" nations; there's an interesting selectivity which allows them to act "in the UN's name" against Iraq or in Bosnia, but to ignore resolutions against Israel.

The UN is nothing without the support of its big-hitters.
posted by holgate at 10:08 AM on May 8, 2001

frednorman: what kind of comment was that? (you might want to read it in the context of the post above it, and the ones that follow)

Salon has two articles up on the significance of the U.S. losing its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission, Bush League by Joe Conason and The ugly Americans by Ian Williams. The second page of the latter article in particular could've been pulled straight out of my head.
posted by lia at 10:21 AM on May 8, 2001

I don´t think the UN hates America. It's just the US think they have everything figured out and didn't bother lobbying for the votes this time.

It is not that simple as "everybody hates America and they´re voting against it". It is more about America (not only the Bush administration) making a very bad foreing policy for decades and applying a permanent and intrusive war against the poor. (sorry, you guys like to call it war against drugs).
posted by papalotl at 10:57 AM on May 8, 2001

It's starting to look like the Bush administration is having all its toys taken away. I love it.

Even if this doesn't mean much in the long run, it's helping to erode Bush's approval ratings, and that's something I can support fully.
posted by jragon at 11:14 AM on May 8, 2001

I get a kick of of a country that built itself on one person one vote (and we won't get into how long it took for 'person' to be taken the way we use it today) suddenly thinking that one country one vote is wrong, and that it should have something to do with how much money that country has...
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 11:27 AM on May 8, 2001

This helps renew my faith in the UN. Especially losing the seat on the Narcotics board.
papalotl, nice point about the "war against the poor."
posted by keithl at 11:28 AM on May 8, 2001

UN to USA, "You are the Weakest Link... Goodbye!"
posted by avowel at 4:28 PM on May 8, 2001

Yes, aaron, Australia has an interesting history with regard to complying with (narcotics policy) or ignoring (aboriginal human rights) UN resolutions.

Nevertheless, what happens in the UN matters to countries like Australia.

owillis: Iraq, Serbia, Somalia
Yes, we all thank you for you contribution to the world so far.
posted by lagado at 5:27 PM on May 8, 2001

Only to Normandy LOLOLOLO...Im doing diogenes meets abbott and costello at i get out, im just a attention. The U.N is fine except as a military force. Sorry,but they drive blue vechiles and wear white helmets(Or is it vice-versa) To me that is fine for a "bobby" type of show of force...thingy. Look at its failure in Cambodia, In the balkins....And mr.diplomaticImm...Thats one Free white man-one vote in a historical context. Prowcity, why back down? islolationalist label is outdated. (anyone hear from G.M. workers that are IN china...of course not because feather ruffling is for those who only think of the issue with media eyes) KEEP YER EYE ON THE BIRD( in my case a sad-assed clipped Hawk)
posted by clavdivs at 5:31 PM on May 8, 2001

Any chance of giving clavdivs that MetaFilter scholarship for English lessons?
posted by harmful at 6:47 AM on May 9, 2001

back off, I was an English Minor once and found little grammar worms like you (Harmless) to be fun to crush with my mind lolololololo. Yes I am lazy. But i Could out write anyone in this room. Im sorry if anyone has to read this but USE A REAL SLAM. My friend was right, people in this site are mostly snilveling ka-nits. I was mislead....say something stupid less harm...i will pounce and you WILL look stupid. Corrections are for editors -wanna job, you clean up my words, and i will say cleaver things for you, about you, and to you.
posted by clavdivs at 7:21 AM on May 9, 2001

Okay, I'll take the job, you writing a novel? "I Was A Teenage English Minor"? Let's get crackin'! Yes.
posted by EngineBeak at 9:37 AM on May 9, 2001

We can talk about "cleaver things" on MetaTalk.
posted by lia at 9:38 AM on May 9, 2001

Weren't most of us minors when we were teenage? (Or was that the other way around?)
posted by harmful at 9:54 AM on May 9, 2001

i Could out write anyone in this room.

Lemme guess, the only other sentient being in the room when you wrote that was a cat.
posted by kindall at 11:42 AM on May 9, 2001

your all so counter-reactionary. The real beauty is, well H.D. said it best "This is the new heresy;but if you do not understand what words say, how can you expect to pass judgement on what words conceal? (...with Carcalla, his cock-eyed persian, c. germanicus nero, wheeled out into the Wyoming skyline, a purple hue gleams the suicide doors and all seemed fine...) 3 minues six kiddo.l
posted by clavdivs at 5:18 PM on May 9, 2001

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