No ‘profile in courage’ at UN
Ted Sorenson passed away this week. He was the famed JFK aide who helped the then-senator from Massachusetts with the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage. He served John F. Kennedy loyally and well.
We saw no profile in courage on the world stage this week. The secretary general of the UN, South Korean diplomat Ban Ki-Moon, traveled to China. He met in Beijing with Chinese People’s Republic President Hu Jintao.
Although the Secretary General says he has made human rights a priority for the world body, he did not take up the case of imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, reports the New York Times.
This is odd. Since China sits on the UN Human Rights Council, you would think it would be the most natural thing in the world for the UN official to raise the issue of Liu Xiaobo’s imprisonment with his jailers. Ban did not seek a meeting with Liu.
Nor did Ban even congratulate Liu on his Nobel Prize. China, we learn from the Times’ spare reporting, has a seat on the UN Security Council. China can veto a second term for Ban Ki-Moon. You wouldn’t want to antagonize your voters, it seems.
It goes without saying that Ban Ki-Moon did not raise the question of China’s “one-child” policy with Hu Jintao. Under that brutal and inhuman policy, millions of Chinese women are forced to undergo abortions. Tens of millions of abortions have been performed on unwilling mothers — with the connivance of the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). The UNFPA has long been implicated in massive human rights abuses — including forced abortions in China, and coerced sterilizations in India and Peru.
You would think America’s “pro-choice” politicians and lobbying groups would loudly denounce China’s denial of choice to millions of women. But their silence is deafening.
Since January 2009, American taxpayers have been coerced into supporting UNFPA. President Obama issued an executive order providing funding for that group. He revoked the Mexico City policy of Ronald Reagan.
Under President Reagan’s Mexico City policy, U.S. funds were restricted from funding the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the UNFPA. Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush maintained America’s strong commitment to life in the international arena.
Under Mr. Obama, unfortunately, the sluicegates were opened. U.S. funding has flooded to these human rights abusers. It should be one of the new Congress’ first tasks to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood and the UNFPA.
Speaking of human rights, China continues to suppress religious freedom in their vast domain. This is in direct violation of Article 18 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Chinese Christians have been forced, in many places, to go underground. Some local Communist Party cadres try to stamp out these “Jesus nests.” Falun Gong, a Chinese religious minority, is also suppressed. Also denied religious freedom are the Buddhists in Tibet, the home country of the Dalai Lama. Chinese Communist officials deny Muslims in Xinjiang Province any religious rights.
We need to look very carefully at what Americans are being forced to subsidize at the UN. It does not make sense for our State Department to issue human rights reports and religious freedom reports, and then go ahead and fund some of the biggest abusers of human rights and religious freedom.
As the new Congress looks for ways to cut, cut, cut federal spending, let’s hope that the U.S. contribution to the UN budget comes under the closest scrutiny. Our concern should not be what Ban Ki-Moon’s concern obviously is. Whether this UN bureaucrat is re-elected as secretary general should take a back seat to real human rights and real religious freedom. If he doesn’t care about these vital issues, Americans do.
Ken Blackwell is a visiting professor with Liberty University School of Law and senior fellow with the Family Research Council. He is the co-author of The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency.