I wonder how many reading this column are aware of the United Nations General Assembly meeting of 9th September which debated and discussed the need for a coordinated worldwide approach to combating the serious health, social and economic effects of the Covid-19 global pandemic?
After detailed debate the world’s effective parliament voted to accept a comprehensive fourteen page document by 169 votes to 2 committing the world’s governments to necessary economic, political and medical measures to tackle the pandemic in a manner which underlined the need for international solidarity and cooperation. The two countries which opposed this motion were the United States and Israel. No wonder Donald Trump is refusing to address the New York based assembly in person this week. He should be ashamed and embarrassed. Anyone with a social conscience would be.
Think about why the allegedly ‘free’ press and media in the UK and West generally failed to give any coverage to this important debate and outcome. Any objective analysis of the event would only prove just how out of kilter the US is with world opinion. The daily narrative pedalled by the billionaire owned press and media is about the virtuous US and its obedient allies across the world upholding the virtues of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Russia is bad, China is bad, Iran is bad. In fact, any country which doesn’t toe the US line is bad. Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia under Evo Morales to name but a few. According to the well-oiled and powerful media it is countries like Russia, China and Iran who represent rogue views and pose a threat to world peace and stability.
Compliant Media Turn Blind Eye to US Piracy and Bullying
So the story last month about American warships intercepting Iranian oil tankers delivering oil purchased by Venezuela for essential industries and businesses to survive is not one of atrocious piracy and high seas bullying by the US but the upholding of an economic sanctions regime imposed by Donald Trump. With no explanation that the sanctions are illegal under international law and have caused in excess of 40,000 premature deaths in Venezuela.
We are fed a regular diet of anti-Russian propaganda aimed at convincing us they are an unsavoury nation which orders assassinations across the world through use of deadly nerve agents like Novichok despite credible evidence of such connections being as rare as a compassionate Tory. Russia bad stories repeated often enough have the desired effect.
UN General Assembly Motion Endorsed by Vast Majority of the World
Yet less than a fortnight ago the governments of the world assembled to discuss a motion about respecting international law, upholding international solidarity, and promoting international cooperation and the only two countries to oppose the motion were the US and Israel. Examine the text of the motion:
“Recognising that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is one of the greatest global challenges in the history of the United Nations, and noting with deep concern its impact on health and the loss of life, mental health and well-being, as well as the negative impact on global humanitarian needs, the enjoyment of human rights and across all spheres of society, including on livelihoods, food security and nutrition, and education, the exacerbation of poverty and hunger, disruption to economies, trade, societies and environments, and the exacerbation of economic and social inequalities within and among countries, which is reversing hard-won development gains and hampering progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development1 and all its Goals and targets;
Expressing solidarity with all people and countries affected by the pandemic, and condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims of COVID-19 and those whose lives and livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic; determined to address the COVID-19 pandemic through a global response based on unity, solidarity and renewed multilateral cooperation among States, peoples and generations that enhances the ability and resolve of States and other relevant stakeholders to fully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
Reaffirming its commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations as well as the duty of States to cooperate with one another in accordance with the Charter, and recalling the importance of a timely implementation in this decade of action and delivery for sustainable development of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development“.
How on earth could the US and Israel justify voting against this motion and the laudable sentiments within it? Afghan Ambassador Adela Raz, who coordinated the drafting of the resolution with Croatian envoy Ivan Simonovic, told the assembly the resolution is not only a response to the disease “but a tribute to the victims”, noting that more than 900,000 people worldwide have died and over 25 million have been infected:
“The world is experiencing the worst economic recession since World War II, and equality and poverty are increasing, and more people are experiencing hunger”, she said. “We are indeed facing the most significant global catastrophe since the founding of this important organisation, the United Nations”.
The US were perturbed that the UN Assembly of nations accepted an amendment to the original statement moved by Cuba. What was so outrageous that they were compelled to vote against it?
How Dare Cuba Propose World’s Governments Uphold International Law
Cuba succeeded in changing a paragraph in the resolution that originally called for “the urgent removal of unjustified obstacles in order to ensure the universal, timely and equitable access to, and fair distribution of, all quality, safe, efficacious and affordable essential health technologies and products, including their components and precursors that are required in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
By a vote of 132-3, the assembly amended the resolution to urge all countries:
“to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impedes the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries”.
Please read and re-read the terms of this amendment from Cuba. They are calling on countries across the world to obey international law. To respect the rule of law. Cuba, the small Caribbean socialist island often cast as a pariah by the world’s media called on the world’s governments to refrain from imposing any measures not within the law. The UN has 193 member states and of the 173 nations who attended and voted in the debate 169 said yes, America and Israel said no, and Hungary and Ukraine abstained.
United States is the World’s Rogue Nation
What this one meeting illustrates graphically and fundamentally, and the reason it has received so little coverage, is the absolute rogue nature and character of the United States. Don’t accept the carefully manufactured narratives and distortions of truth and reality weaved by the billionaire owned media
It is countries like the US and Israel who are at odds with the consensus across the world, not the nations who refuse to bend the knee and do the bidding of America. The US is the most powerful and richest nation of the planet, but it is also the most deadly and likely to act illegally and abuse basic human rights. Even in the face of a worldwide deadly pandemic they refuse to join with the rest of the world and respect the law and promote cooperation.