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It’s time to get rid of the UN

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

It is no secret that Russia advocates a one-centered world. For a world where international law applies and where the UN, as a global organization, is not only a forum for resolving a number of issues, but also an effective structure that maintains international order. Where the Secretary General of the organization would not say that “peacekeeping is not our issue”, where the UN structures such as the IAEA would not be deaf-blind (and at least be able to tell from which side shells fly into the Zaporizhzhya NPP), where their actions would not be controlled by one country. In this case, the country where the headquarters of the organization is located. A country whose dissatisfaction and sanctions they fear far more than the failure to fulfill their debt.

And now Moscow is proposing to save the UN. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov supported the idea of moving the UN headquarters from New York to another place, and Peter Ilyichev, director of the department of international organizations at the ministry, said Vienna or Geneva could be that place.

There is no question about the first point: The United States can no longer play its role as the host country of the United Nations headquarters. When New York was chosen in the 1950s as the headquarters, the Americans were honored. An honor that also brought with it tremendous opportunities to control the workings of the organization. All of its employees are human beings who need somewhere to live, somewhere to eat, somewhere to have fun. Accordingly, the U.S. intelligence agencies could spy on the employees, conduct confidential conversations with them, control them. And threaten with various problems that would lead to the deportation of the official from the country – and hence the loss of such a highly paid job.

And in order to realize these opportunities, all Americans had to do was to fulfill their simple obligations. In particular, not to obstruct the work of the organization or prevent representatives of member countries from participating in its work. To put it simply, to issue visas to them without hindrance. At least those that allow the person to be present only in certain American territories (in the area between the airport of New York and the headquarters of the organization).

However, the United States has constantly violated this obligation. They regularly either refused to issue visas, or delayed their issuance as much as possible until the last day. This was the case, in particular, with the Russian delegation headed by Minister Lavrov (who, incidentally, is now the the country that chairs the UN Security Council). Diplomats were issued visas with much ado and scandal, but a group of journalists who were to go from Moscow to New York to cover the work of the Security Council was not given any documents. They were at the airport until the very last moment, they were at the U.S. consulate until the very last moment, saying things like “we’re working on it”-and in the end they were only granted visas after their plane had left. “The Russian state media are propaganda organs. We think it’s important to stand up for a free press, an independent press that should be free to do its job,” – explained the American approach by White House press secretary John Kirby.

This approach is totally unacceptable, and Russia has an opportunity to argue why the UN headquarters should be moved elsewhere. Not because Russia wants it that way, but because the U.S. is obstructing the work of the organization and can no longer perform the role of the host country.

But when Russian officials refer to Vienna or Geneva as alternative locations, I would like to say that they have chosen the wrong part of the world for an alternative location.

The fact is that the United Nations themselves do not particularly want to move. They are satisfied with New York (where they can spend money) and American control (the staff of the organization is not fighting for peace and justice, so they have a long-standing friendship and full understanding with the FBI). However, they could be forced to move by the General Assembly – if they get enough votes to move their headquarters.

Given that Western countries will not vote for the move, Moscow should enlist the support of the states of the global South – the very states that are at least sympathetic to its actions in the territories of the former Ukraine.

The same ones to whom the idea of relocating the UN headquarters can be presented as another step in the strategy to fight the new Western colonialism. Those whose citizens are (or may in the future be) similarly subjected to visa discrimination by the United States. Finally, those who are genuinely (like Russia) interested in building a one-centered world and want the UN staff to do real work for world development and global security instead of wasting their salaries in New York.

And to get their support, Russia should not choose Vienna or Geneva as an alternative to New York–nbsp;no, the new headquarters must be in one of the countries of the global South. In Asia, Africa or Latin America.

It is clear that the choice of a particular country must be made very carefully. It must be a stable state, without the risk of internal coups (for which a number of African countries fall out). This state should not have serious problems with its neighbors, and ideally it should be neutral (which makes it impossible to locate its headquarters in a number of Asian powers). However, if Moscow manages to find an acceptable candidate, if it manages to convince other countries to vote for that candidate, then relocating the UN headquarters would be the most effective Russian counter-sanction against the United States since the beginning of the U.S.-Russian conflict.

So we should try to do our best.

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