The United Nations has become increasingly irrelevant. For proof, look no further than their deafening silence with regard to the unrest we have seen in Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, etc. Why has the U.N. remained all but silent?
What good is the United Nations if they do not take the lead and focus the world's attention and action to avoid crisis and violence against innocents and to insure that an already weak world economy is not put in further peril?
Candidate Obama talked about "resetting" foreign relations and bringing more international cooperation to world challenges. He scolded the Bush administration for what he said was a heavy-handed approach to foreign affairs.
President Obama after taking office took dramatic steps to show his difference with his predecessor when he granted his first television interview to Al Arabiya, the Middle East Arabic Network. Then he dispatched Vice President Biden and Secretary Clinton to Russia and Europe to usher in a "new era" of relations. Then in March of 2009 Obama released a New Year video message to the Government of Iran. In April of 2009 Obama gave speeches in Turkey and that was followed in June with his now famous Cairo University Speech in Egypt where he called for "a new beginning" in relations in the Middle East and the U.S.
Thereafter, President Obama in September of 2009 was invited to chair the U.N. Security Council Meeting on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. The Obama administration saw this invitation as the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the president's departure from what they saw as Bush's strategy of pursuing his own unilateral policies. So, what came out of this dog and pony show? Nothing substantive at all came from the meeting.
On December 13, 2010, the White House released the following statement with regard to his meeting with U.N. Security Council Permanent Representatives:
"The president began by congratulating the new members, and underscoring the importance of the United Nations and the Security Council to the United States. In particular, the president stressed the importance of the Security Council remaining united in urging all parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on Sudan to abide by their commitments, particularly in light of the upcoming referendum scheduled for January. The president also underscored the importance of continued Security Council support for non-proliferation, building on the strong work that has been done to hold North Korea and Iran accountable for their failure to live up to their obligations. The president also noted the broader role that the Security Council has in supporting peace, security and development around the world. The president then led a discussion that covered a wide range of issues facing the council, including nuclear non-proliferation, the Middle East, Haiti, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, North Korea and our shared efforts to combat terrorism."
What has the U.N. and more particularly the Security Council done with regard to these important issues? Nothing substantive at all came out of the meeting.
The U.N. Security Council is charged under the U.N. Charter to do the following:
* To maintain international peace and security in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations.
* To investigate any dispute or situation which might lead to international friction.
* To recommend methods of adjusting such disputes or the terms of settlement.
* To formulate plans for the establishment of a system to regulate armaments.
* To determine the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and to recommend what action should be taken.
* To call on Members to apply economic sanctions and other measures not involving the use of force to prevent or stop aggression.
* To take military action against an aggressor.
* To recommend the admission of new Members.
* To exercise the trusteeship functions of the United Nations in "strategic areas."
* To recommend to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and, together with the Assembly, to elect the Judges of the International Court of Justice.
In light of the Middle East meltdown we are witnessing right before our eyes, it is quite clear that the U.N. Security Council has failed in their mission to maintain international peace and security; has failed to investigate the situations that have led to international frictions; failed to recommend methods of adjusting such disputes; failed to formulate plans to regulate armaments in this troubled region; failed to determine the existence of threats to peace and recommend actions to be taken to cease aggressions; and failed to exercise the trusteeship functions of the United Nations in "strategic areas."
It is clear that beyond the photo-op and staged and scripted meetings, Obama has no use for the U.N. or their Security Council. There has been no mention by the Obama administration of utilizing the U.N. to intervene in a Middle East crisis that should be their number one priority.
The president who warned of the dangers of a go it alone strategy or a too forward U.S. intervention in Middle East affairs is doing just that. He has put the United States way out in front of the troubles in Egypt and the entire Middle East. He has not involved the international community, has not called for a U.N. Security Council Meeting and has not called for an international summit on a crisis of epic proportions to world peace and economic stability.
President Obama by not involving and seeking the constructive involvement of world powers will endanger America's standing in the Middle East and the world.
It is only a matter of time that America will become the focus of the people of the Middle East's frustrations and blame.
The president who promised to "reset" world relations has setback world relations by his go it alone strategy, poor judgment and missteps in crisis in the Middle East.
All this from the man who was the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion.
Former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush