Quotes About United Nations

Quotes tagged as "united-nations" (showing 1-30 of 33)
George Clooney
“In the time that we're here today, more women and children will die violently in the Darfur region than in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel or Lebanon. So, after September 30, you won't need the UN - you will simply need men with shovels and bleached white linen and headstones.”
George Clooney

Samuel P. Huntington
“Arabs and other Muslims generally agreed that Saddam Hussein might be a bloody tyrant, but, paralleling FDR's thinking, "he is our bloody tyrant." In their view, the invasion was a family affair to be settled within the family and those who intervened in the name of some grand theory of international justice were doing so to protect their own selfish interests and to maintain Arab subordination to the west.”
Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

Christopher Hitchens
“George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. What the president should have done, in the unlikely event that he wanted the support of America's peace-mongers, was to describe a confrontation with Saddam as the 'lesser evil.' This is a term the Left can appreciate. Indeed, 'lesser evil' is part of the essential tactical rhetoric of today's Left, and has been deployed to excuse or overlook the sins of liberal Democrats, from President Clinton's bombing of Sudan to Madeleine Albright's veto of an international rescue for Rwanda when she was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Among those longing for nuance, moral relativism—the willingness to use the term evil, when combined with a willingness to make accommodations with it—is the smart thing: so much more sophisticated than 'cowboy' language.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

Christopher Hitchens
“Attempts to locate oneself within history are as natural, and as absurd, as attempts to locate oneself within astronomy. On the day that I was born, 13 April 1949, nineteen senior Nazi officials were convicted at Nuremberg, including Hitler's former envoy to the Vatican, Baron Ernst von Weizsacker, who was found guilty of planning aggression against Czechoslovakia and committing atrocities against the Jewish people. On the same day, the State of Israel celebrated its first Passover seder and the United Nations, still meeting in those days at Flushing Meadow in Queens, voted to consider the Jewish state's application for membership. In Damascus, eleven newspapers were closed by the regime of General Hosni Zayim. In America, the National Committee on Alcoholism announced an upcoming 'A-Day' under the non-uplifting slogan: 'You can drink—help the alcoholic who can't.' ('Can't'?) The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled in favor of Britain in the Corfu Channel dispute with Albania. At the UN, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko denounced the newly formed NATO alliance as a tool for aggression against the USSR. The rising Chinese Communists, under a man then known to Western readership as Mao Tze-Tung, announced a limited willingness to bargain with the still-existing Chinese government in a city then known to the outside world as 'Peiping.'

All this was unknown to me as I nuzzled my mother's breast for the first time, and would certainly have happened in just the same way if I had not been born at all, or even conceived. One of the newspaper astrologists for that day addressed those whose birthday it was:

There are powerful rays from the planet Mars, the war god, in your horoscope for your coming year, and this always means a chance to battle if you want to take it up. Try to avoid such disturbances where women relatives or friends are concerned, because the outlook for victory upon your part in such circumstances is rather dark. If you must fight, pick a man!

Sage counsel no doubt, which I wish I had imbibed with that same maternal lactation, but impartially offered also to the many people born on that day who were also destined to die on it.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

José Ramos-Horta
“As a Nobel Peace laureate, I, like most people, agonize over the use of force. But when it comes to rescuing an innocent people from tyranny or genocide, I've never questioned the justification for resorting to force. That's why I supported Vietnam's 1978 invasion of Cambodia, which ended Pol Pot's regime, and Tanzania's invasion of Uganda in 1979, to oust Idi Amin. In both cases, those countries acted without U.N. or international approval—and in both cases they were right to do so.”
José Ramos-Horta, A Matter of Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq

Kofi Annan
“More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that is why we have the United Nations.”
Kofi Annan

Christopher Hitchens
“So, whenever the subject of Iraq came up, as it did keep on doing through the Clinton years, I had no excuse for not knowing the following things: I knew that its one-party, one-leader state machine was modeled on the precedents of both National Socialism and Stalinism, to say nothing of Al Capone. I knew that its police force was searching for psychopathic killers and sadistic serial murderers, not in order to arrest them but to employ them. I knew that its vast patrimony of oil wealth, far from being 'nationalized,' had been privatized for the use of one family, and was being squandered on hideous ostentation at home and militarism abroad. (Post-Kuwait inspections by the United Nations had uncovered a huge nuclear-reactor site that had not even been known about by the international community.) I had seen with my own eyes the evidence of a serious breach of the Genocide Convention on Iraqi soil, and I had also seen with my own eyes the evidence that it had been carried out in part with the use of weapons of mass destruction. I was, if you like, the prisoner of this knowledge. I certainly did not have the option of un-knowing it.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Christopher Hitchens
“Question: Which Mediterranean government shares all of Ronald Reagan's views on international terrorism, the present danger of Soviet advance, the hypocrisy of the United Nations, the unreliability of Europe, the perfidy of the Third World and the need for nuclear defense policy? Question: Which Mediterranean government is Ronald Reagan trying, with the help of George Shultz and Caspar Weinberger, to replace with a government led by a party which professes socialism and which contains extreme leftists?

If you answered 'the government of Israel' to both of the above, you know more about political and international irony than the President does.”
Christopher Hitchens

“After the second world war
in 1948
they founded the UN,
the United Nations
so that a crime like the mass-murder of
the Jews
could never happen again.
Now the UN is a flourishing organization
a honourable institution,
the only thing is that it doesn't do the thing they founded it for:

prevention of mass-murder.”
Ad De Bont, Mirad, A Boy From Bosnia

James Bamford
“Roosevelt fought hard for the United States to host the opening session [of the United Nations]; it seemed a magnanimous gesture to most of the delegates. But the real reason was to better enable the United States to eavesdrop on its guests. Coded messages between the foreign delegations and their distant capitals passed through U.S. telegraph lines in San Francisco. With wartime censorship laws still in effect, Western Union and the other commercial telegraph companies were required to pass on both coded and uncoded telegrams to U.S. Army codebreakers. Once the signals were captured, a specially designed time-delay device activated to allow recorders to be switched on. Devices were also developed to divert a single signal to several receivers. The intercepts were then forwarded to Arlington Hall, headquarters of the Army codebreakers, over forty-six special secure teletype lines. By the summer of 1945 the average number of daily messages had grown to 289,802, from only 46,865 in February 1943. The same soldiers who only a few weeks earlier had been deciphering German battle plans were now unraveling the codes and ciphers wound tightly around Argentine negotiating points.

During the San Francisco Conference, for example, American codebreakers were reading messages sent to and from the French delegation, which was using the Hagelin M-209, a complex six-wheel cipher machine broken by the Army Security Agency during the war. The decrypts revealed how desperate France had become to maintain its image as a major world power after the war. On April 29, for example, Fouques Duparc, the secretary general of the French delegation, complained in an encrypted note to General Charles de Gaulle in Paris that France was not chosen to be one of the "inviting powers" to the conference. "Our inclusion among the sponsoring powers," he wrote, "would have signified, in the eyes of all, our return to our traditional place in the world." In charge of the San Francisco eavesdropping and codebreaking operation was Lieutenant Colonel Frank B. Rowlett, the protégé of William F. Friedman. Rowlett was relieved when the conference finally ended, and he considered it a great success. "Pressure of work due to the San Francisco Conference has at last abated," he wrote, "and the 24-hour day has been shortened. The feeling in the Branch is that the success of the Conference may owe a great deal to its contribution."

The San Francisco Conference served as an important demonstration of the usefulness of peacetime signals intelligence. Impressive was not just the volume of messages intercepted but also the wide range of countries whose secrets could be read. Messages from Colombia provided details on quiet disagreements between Russia and its satellite nations as well as on "Russia's prejudice toward the Latin American countries." Spanish decrypts indicated that their diplomats in San Francisco were warned to oppose a number of Russian moves: "Red maneuver . . . must be stopped at once," said one. A Czechoslovakian message indicated that nation's opposition to the admission of Argentina to the UN.

From the very moment of its birth, the United Nations was a microcosm of East-West spying. Just as with the founding conference, the United States pushed hard to locate the organization on American soil, largely to accommodate the eavesdroppers and codebreakers of NSA and its predecessors.”
James Bamford, Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency from the Cold War Through the Dawn of a New Century

Christopher Hitchens
“When the day comes that Tehran can announce its nuclear capability, every shred of international law will have been discarded. The mullahs have publicly sworn—to the United Nations and the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency—that they are not cheating. As they unmask their batteries, they will be jeering at the very idea of an 'international community.' How strange it is that those who usually fetishize the United Nations and its inspectors do not feel this shame more keenly.”
Christopher Hitchens

“At daybreak on the first day, thousands of Cambodians are already calmly waiting outside my polling station. They squat on the ground, silent and patient. We didn't expect this at all. We thought they would fail to understand how democracy works. We thought they would be afraid of the Khmer Rouge. We thought they would passively accept their fate. We were wrong.”
Heidi Postlewait, Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone

Christopher Hitchens
“Remaining for a moment with the question of legality and illegality: United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368, unanimously passed, explicitly recognized the right of the United States to self-defense and further called upon all member states 'to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of the terrorist attacks. It added that 'those responsible for aiding, supporting or harboring the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of those acts will be held accountable.' In a speech the following month, the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan publicly acknowledged the right of self-defense as a legitimate basis for military action. The SEAL unit dispatched by President Obama to Abbottabad was large enough to allow for the contingency of bin-Laden's capture and detention. The naïve statement that he was 'unarmed' when shot is only loosely compatible with the fact that he was housed in a military garrison town, had a loaded automatic weapon in the room with him, could well have been wearing a suicide vest, had stated repeatedly that he would never be taken alive, was the commander of one of the most violent organizations in history, and had declared himself at war with the United States. It perhaps says something that not even the most casuistic apologist for al-Qaeda has ever even attempted to justify any of its 'operations' in terms that could be covered by any known law, with the possible exception of some sanguinary verses of the Koran.”
Christopher Hitchens, The Enemy

“And there’s one other matter I must raise. The epidemic of domestic sexual violence that lacerates the soul of South Africa is mirrored in the pattern of grotesque raping in areas of outright conflict from Darfur to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in areas of contested electoral turbulence from Kenya to Zimbabwe. Inevitably, a certain percentage of the rapes transmits the AIDS virus. We don’t know how high that percentage is. We know only that women are subjected to the most dreadful double jeopardy.

The point must also be made that there’s no such thing as the enjoyment of good health for women who live in constant fear of rape. Countless strong women survive the sexual assaults that occur in the millions every year, but every rape leaves a scar; no one ever fully heals.

This business of discrimination against and oppression of women is the world’s most poisonous curse. Nowhere is it felt with greater catastrophic force than in the AIDS pandemic. This audience knows the statistics full well: you’ve chronicled them, you’ve measured them, the epidemiologists amongst you have disaggregated them. What has to happen, with one unified voice, is that the scientific community tells the political community that it must understand one incontrovertible fact of health: bringing an end to sexual violence is a vital component in bringing an end to AIDS.

The brave groups of women who dare to speak up on the ground, in country after country, should not have to wage this fight in despairing and lonely isolation. They should hear the voices of scientific thunder. You understand the connections between violence against women and vulnerability to the virus. No one can challenge your understanding. Use it, I beg you, use it.”
Stephen Lewis

Reza Aslan
“Whether for good or for bad, the Iran that ultimately rises out of the ashes of last summer's uprising will be unlike the Iran we know today, and for that we can thank the Green Movement, not another round of useless sanctions.”
Reza Aslan

Christopher Hitchens
“Rolf Ekeus came round to my apartment one day and showed me the name of the Iraqi diplomat who had visited the little West African country of Niger: a statelet famous only for its production of yellowcake uranium. The name was Wissam Zahawi. He was the brother of my louche gay part-Kurdish friend, the by-now late Mazen. He was also, or had been at the time of his trip to Niger, Saddam Hussein's ambassador to the Vatican. I expressed incomprehension. What was an envoy to the Holy See doing in Niger? Obviously he was not taking a vacation. Rolf then explained two things to me. The first was that Wissam Zahawi had, when Rolf was at the United Nations, been one of Saddam Hussein's chief envoys for discussions on nuclear matters (this at a time when the Iraqis had functioning reactors). The second was that, during the period of sanctions that followed the Kuwait war, no Western European country had full diplomatic relations with Baghdad. TheVatican was the sole exception, so it was sent a very senior Iraqi envoy to act as a listening post. And this man, a specialist in nuclear matters, had made a discreet side trip to Niger. This was to suggest exactly what most right-thinking people were convinced was not the case: namely that British intelligence was on to something when it said that Saddam had not ceased seeking nuclear materials in Africa.

I published a few columns on this, drawing at one point an angry email from Ambassador Zahawi that very satisfyingly blustered and bluffed on what he'd really been up to. I also received—this is what sometimes makes journalism worthwhile—a letter from a BBC correspondent named Gordon Correa who had been writing a book about A.Q. Khan. This was the Pakistani proprietor of the nuclear black market that had supplied fissile material to Libya, North Korea, very probably to Syria, and was open for business with any member of the 'rogue states' club. (Saddam's people, we already knew for sure, had been meeting North Korean missile salesmen in Damascus until just before the invasion, when Kim Jong Il's mercenary bargainers took fright and went home.) It turned out, said the highly interested Mr. Correa, that his man Khan had also been in Niger, and at about the same time that Zahawi had. The likelihood of the senior Iraqi diplomat in Europe and the senior Pakistani nuclear black-marketeer both choosing an off-season holiday in chic little uranium-rich Niger… well, you have to admit that it makes an affecting picture. But you must be ready to credit something as ridiculous as that if your touching belief is that Saddam Hussein was already 'contained,' and that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair were acting on panic reports, fabricated in turn by self-interested provocateurs.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

NoViolet Bulawayo
“Aunt Fostalina says when she first came to America she went to school during the day and worked nights at Eliot’s hotels, cleaning hotel rooms together with people from countries like Senegal, Cameroon, Tibet, the Philippines, Ethiopia, and so on. It was like the damn United Nations there, she likes to say.”
NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names

James Morcan
“Marcia Wilson was a good example of Omega’s core strategy for creating a New World Order. It involved placing their people, or moles, in positions of power within the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon, the White House and global organizations like the UN, the IMF and the World Bank. This enabled Omega to pull some of the strings of these organizations and to direct American, and world politics, to an extent.”
James Morcan, The Ninth Orphan

Conor Cruise O'Brien
“Today, as a result of the policy of Macmillan's Government, Great Britain presents in the United Nations the face of Pecksniff and in Katanga the face of Gradgrind.”
Conor Cruise O'Brien

Kofi Annan
“You can do a lot with diplomacy, but with diplomacy backed up by force you can get a lot more done.”
Kofi Annan

“If the UN has not failed in maintaining world peace or bilateral relations between nations, it has definitely not succeeded either.”
Sharad Vivek Sagar

Aysha Taryam
“When an entire segment of the world is burned and reduced to a lawless battleground for thugs and mercenaries, a land where government does not exist, where the slate of history is being wiped out and hope has drowned in gallons of innocent blood, the only respite comes in the form of the open seas and what lies beyond the horizon. So ships are boarded and pain is tolerated just a little while longer.”
Aysha Taryam

“Weber also saw that a bureaucratic world contained risks. It produced increasingly powerful and autonomous bureaucrats who could be spiritless, driven only by impersonal rules and procedures, and with little regard for the people they were expected to serve. Weber famously warned that those who allow themselves to be guided by rules will soon find that those rules have defined their identities and commitments.”
Michael Barnett, Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda

“I frequently detect a hint of satisfaction in the accounts that manage to excavate moral and individual responsibility from the historical debris. Perhaps it is because of the unspoken belief that changing the people will change the outcome. 'No Hitler, no Holocaust.' If only a few individuals had resolved that it was unconscionable to be a bystander, then perhaps thousands would have been saved. I suppose there is some solace in recovering a history in which altering an isolated event transforms all that follows. But personalizing the story in this way can obscure how these were not isolated individuals operating on their own but rather were people situated in an organizational and historical context that profoundly shaped how they looked upon the world, what they believed they could do, and what they wanted to do. The UN staff and diplomats in New York, in the main, were highly decent, hard-working, and honorable individuals who believed that they were acting properly when they decided not to try to put an end to genocide. It is this history that stays with me.”
Michael Barnett

Enock Maregesi
“Ukanda wa Gaza ni jimbo lenye miji minne na kambi mbalimbali za wakimbizi za Umoja wa Mataifa – lenye urefu wa kati ya kilometa 41 au maili 25 na lenye upana wa kati ya kilometa 6 mpaka 12 au maili 3.7 mpaka 7.5, pamoja na eneo la jumla la kilometa za mraba 365 au maili za mraba 141. Jimbo hili liliwahi kutawaliwa na Wamisri, Wakaanani, Waisraeli, Wasiria, Wababelonia, Wagiriki, Warumi, Waturuki, Waingereza, na Wapalestina, na limekuwa uwanja wa vita kwa karne nyingi kwa sababu za kidini na kihistoria. Ukanda wa Gaza uko chini ya Palestina. Uko chini ya serikali ya Hamas.”
Enock Maregesi

“The UN lacked the ability to act without the support of its more powerful members, notably the United States. The American government wanted to avoid a repetition of its unsuccessful intervention in Somalia, in which thirty American troops were killed. President Clinton issued a directive on UN military conditions. The operations would also have to be directly relevant to American interests. These conditions excluded American support for UN intervention to stop the genocide [in Rwanda].”
Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century

Mark Steyn
“One day the UN Secretary General proposes that, in the interest of global peace and harmony, the world's soccer players should come together and form one United Nations global soccer team.

"Great idea," says his deputy. "Er, but who would we play?"

"Israel, of course.”
Mark Steyn, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon

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