Disunited Nations

Baroness Deech

There has been focus on UNESCO recently.  It admitted Palestine as a full member (although I am not sure whether Palestine has signed up to the constitution of the UNESCO, which is a condition of membership) and in consequence the United States has withdrawn its funding. In 1985 the United Kingdom withdrew from UNESCO for 12 years in protest against its politicisation: there have been other state withdrawals, so this is nothing new.  The episode reveals a fundamental inconsistency in the operation of UNESCO and, indeed, other international organisations.  UNESCO is based on a constitution which dedicates the organisation to equal opportunities and the free flow of information and ideas.  Given the decades-old denial of such rights to the citizens of many of its member states, one wonders why more is not done to promote those ideals.  The denial of freedom of communication and women’s rights in Middle Eastern states is headline news. Worse still, the UN Human Rights Commission on Human Rights has, as elected members, Bahrain, where 20 doctors and nurses are on retrial for treating injured protesters during the recent uprising, and Saudi Arabia, whose repression of women’s rights is infamous. Libya has only just been suspended from membership. The basic premise of these international organisations is one state one vote; and equal rights.  So why should nations who do not themselves accord votes and equality to their citizens have voting rights within the international organisation?

STOP PRESS: Syria has been elected onto UNESCO’s human rights and NGO committees after being nominated by the Arab bloc, one day before being suspended by the Arab League.  http://www.unwatch.org/cms.asp?id=2750557&campaign_id=65378 It is impossible to respect UNESCO now, indeed this is a travesty of all it used to stand for.

10 comments for “Disunited Nations

  1. Gareth Howell
    20/11/2011 at 9:10 am


    So why should nations who do not themselves accord votes and equality to their citizens have voting rights within the international organisation?

    The UN is still concerned with the education
    of their children/young people whether or not they have got as “far” as a democracy of one sort or another.

    The most recent billing to catch my attention ,and I am very much a humanist/theosopher type, was their “Humanist” initiative.

    If imperial civilizations can send out their missionaries, so can globalist ones. Roll on the Humanist world! There must be religious humanists about somewhere, without being fakers like the CofE(Anglicans) and Roman Catholic(universals).

  2. MilesJSD
    20/11/2011 at 10:01 pm

    I can but keep on asking key questions, that are being avoided or ‘strawman’ deformed beyond verbatim recognition, by the ‘experts-that-be’:

    What is being done to establish Individual Human Development,
    at exigent levels between Nations ?
    and more focally urgently between the various levels of People within the nation ?

    as distinct from – and very probably in contrast to and even in conflict with –
    Aggregate ‘Human’ Development* ?

    and where would such as GH’s OK-with-globalist-governance mindset be if China assumes the role of Global-Policeman ?
    * UNDP-HDP wherein Nation-al averages compete, being measured by the HDI human-development-index: = Longevity x Knowledge x Wealth;
    whereunder since a genericly-common & holistic individual-human-development programme does not exist,
    not even within Britain or America (Question: could ‘Open Learning’ or ‘Toastmasters’ truly be called generic-Earth-citizenship-education ?)

    and wherein by this blog Baroness Deech appears to have been unable to cleanly detach herself from the “lesser-pot UK calling the greater-kettle 3rd-world Black” syndrome:
    “So why should nations who do not themselves accord equality to their citizens have rights to vote internationally”).

    It has to be said that under the UN Human Development Index, until an individual person has achieved
    1. an old-age. plus
    2. a few PhDs, plus
    3. a £billion-or-two in capital-cash-savings, many hectares of prime-land, gilt-edged ownership and shares in other national and international infrastructures**
    he-or-she as a Young, Non-degree’d, Cash-and-Property- Poor individual is many times removed from having even one foot on the bottom-most rung of the (Global) ‘human development ladder’;
    and that ‘Culture’ is here and now, and planned-to-prevail-for-many five-year-parliamentary-terms-to-come, throughout the United Kingdom.

    ** (‘common’-infrastructures, but by ‘traditional-wisdom’ more politically-correctly called ‘Individually-Capitalistic’ and ‘Privately’ owned).

  3. Teithiwr
    21/11/2011 at 8:59 am

    An interesting argument which only falls down by the fact that there would be very few UN agencies left with many Members. For example, according to this logic it would be reasonable for Members States to call for the UK to be ejected from UN Women and UNDP. After all, the UK has signed up to the Millennium Development Goals but has failed to put in place policies that mean by the target date of 2015 we are unlikely to achieve MDG 3 (Gender Equality) and MDG 8 (Global Partnership). The UK Parliament is still lagging behind on the agreed global target of ensuring that at least 30% of Parliamentarians are women and that 0.7% of Gross National Income is allocated to Overseas Development Assistance.

    • maude elwes
      22/11/2011 at 8:59 am


      I assume this is what you are raising as an issue regarding the UK not meeting its obligations?


      You are, of course, aware that many women now earn more than men in this country and that is presenting extreme hardship for women in particular. As many would prefer to stay at home with their family but because they are the ‘main’ breadwinner, are unable to do so.



      In effect what is happening is, men are being blocked as the ‘equal breadwinner’ in families in the UK, leaving women in the dreadful position of having to rely on ‘the man’ in their life being the ‘house husband.’ Not a desirable position for a great many women and certainly dehumanizing for men.

      Quango’s that set themselves up as arbiters of social change and equalizers, without having put their theories to the public in a straight vote, are simply paving a way for themselves to earn enormous salaries on issues they manufacture for their own purposes, rather than that of people as a whole.

      It is called expand a brief in business circles. Keep a travesty going and you make a fortune out of it. Never, ever ask the voter what they feel is right for them. Control a situation and squeeze blood out of the stone for as long as it takes to find another cause.

  4. MilesJSD
    21/11/2011 at 9:55 am

    add to Teithiwyr’s list of laggardlinesses –

    the Failure of all nations to implement
    (1) the UN Human Rights Decclaration goals of 1948
    (2) the UN Primary Health Care Declaration of 1978 (and Britain’s failure to implement the focal research and proactivated-know-how following that Declaration “Health Care Together” by Johnston & Rifkin)
    (3) the Un declaration for Rights of the Child
    (4) the UN Human Development’s failure to give the World an Individual Human Development goals and indexed model(s); and Britain’s failure to make any progress with either individual human developmenbt or Lifeplace Earth-citizenship education as distinct from Workplace training;

    and although it should be possible within Britain’s constitutional, legislative, regulatory, and community objects-and-rules to found voluntary community associations in support of the above UN Goals and of non-UN advancing knowledge & know-how in both individual-human-development and individual impairment-remediation and reversal,
    neither the Robust-Medical, Subtle-Alternative, nor Community-Cultural & Religious sectors are providing such mutual-and-individual self-healthing and individual-Earth-citizenship programmes and egalitarianly cooperative associations.

    All-along with this extinctional-shambles, the background complicity-with-failure of the UN itself.

    And I very seriously question whether even the super-wealthy ‘Private’ Sector is attempting to meet the needs of the lowest income brackets in any of these human-needs.
    Could all of this neglect be because the World’s Human Leaders and Governors have given up hope for the Survival of the Human Race ? – if not then why gambling-away already Two (2) Earths-worth of unrenewable AND renewablke Resources –

    and already planned to increase that “consumption” to Three(3) Earths-worth by 2050 ?

  5. Gareth Howell
    21/11/2011 at 8:26 pm

    add to Teithiwyr’s list of laggardlinesses

    This presumably because he is a wayfarer, journeyman or traveller according to my Welsh dictionary.

    Teithiwr or Teithiwyr

  6. Tini
    22/11/2011 at 12:04 am

    To make progress on rights issues in these countries we must be willing to enter into dialogue, and compromise. We will never be able to hold unesco as a ransom for the middle east.
    We need to engage these countries at every level and influence and ‘educate’ over time. Barring them from the table will no longer work-besides they have too much to bring to the discussion themselves.

  7. MilesJSD
    22/11/2011 at 11:33 am

    “UNESCO is based on a constitution which dedicates the organisation to equal opportunities and a free flow of information and ideas”.

    Opportunities for whom ?
    Free flow of information – from, to, and between whom ? The World’s Peoples ?
    or just the in-house-cultured UNESCO and its similarly expensive and sycophanticly bureaucratic career-laddered Networks ?

    The most important and urgent task, being avoided by all career-ladders, is to list and keep publicly updating
    1. an Order of Needs, Wants and Wishes of People;
    2. an Order of Needs of Organisations.
    and to do this clinically-separately from all existing “Rights” the latter itself depending not simply upon prior-prevailing Needs but upon a Legal-Empowerment to satisfy the need.

    When what is radically but urgently required, as the People’s-basic-needs priority, is egalitarian-deliberation and recognition of every-human-individual-upon-Earth’s Needs-&-Hows, and thereto the Method III model for Win-Win-Win Cooperative Problem Solving.

    There can no longer be free-room for Compromise;
    nor for the super-expensive “Rights” career-ladders;
    without first entrenching in constitutions, legislations, and regulations, the peacefully-egalitarian and win-win-win Needs-&-Hows of every human individual on Earth.

    ((NB The writer is not a fool, and does both recognise and support work published upon Human Needs by such experts as Maslow, and expect the reader to be likewise serious).

  8. Gar
    22/11/2011 at 2:51 pm

    I agree with Tini’s obviously intelligent remarks! Even without democracy, they have too much to contribute and we too much too give to
    abandon hope of progress on behalf of children’s education,of science and culture.

  9. P.Selvaratnam
    17/12/2011 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve just bumped into this page. When I visited UNESCO website six months ago after a long time, I was shocked by what I saw and wondered who agrees with some sections of the structure and their functions, especially in relation to what has been going on at the other institutions of the UN.
    I am now assured that there are others who have also been taking note of that.

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