Freedom: Key Indicator of Support for America’s Interests in the U.N.

Anthony B. Kim /

In her March 30 speech at the opening ceremony of the National Model U.N., Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, pointed out that:

Important as the United Nations is as a vehicle to promote global security, foster broad-based development, and advance collective interests, the UN is far from perfect. A serious gap still separates the vision of the UN’s founders from the institution of today. The Security Council still stumbles when interests and values diverge, as they do over such issues as Darfur, Zimbabwe, Burma and Sri Lanka. In the General Assembly, member states too often let political theater distract from real deliberation and decision.

Not surprisingly, with its complex system of organizations, funds, programs, offices, and other bodies, the U.N. is indeed a profoundly bureaucratic and political body. The U.N.’s 192 members seek to advance their various, and often conflicting interests. As Heritage Foundation Vice President Kim Holmes points out in Liberty’s Best Hope: American Leadership for the 21st Century, “the original principles of freedom and democracy that inspired the founders of the U.N. have been lost in a cynical power game that essentially defines legitimacy and ‘democracy’ as whatever a majority of U.N. members say it is.” (more…)