12/20/2015 Please note updates below
A few days ago, much ado was launched by the United Nations (UN) Security Council’s resolution on a so-called “peace process” for Syria.
This was endorsed and praised by probably the most ill-informed (or hypocritical, you may take your pick) US Secretary of State, John Kerry, aka US global-gallivanter per excellence, and spewer of the dreaded “greatest threat to the future of our planet”, CO2 emissions. As reported by the CBC (via an AP article with my bold added -hro):
No reference to status of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in resolution
UN Security Council members have unanimously adopted a resolution on a peace process for Syria involving talks by representatives of the Damascus government and the opposition, but the draft says nothing on the critical issue of what role President Bashar al-Assad might play.
Diplomats had rushed to overcome divisions on the draft resolution while world powers held the latest talks on how to bring an end to the conflict, which is deep into its fifth year with well over 300,000 killed.
The resolution has been described as a rare gesture of unity on the Syria peace process by a council often deeply divided on the crisis.
A draft of the resolution, obtained by The Associated Press earlier in the day, requests that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convene representatives of the Syrian government and opposition “to engage in formal negotiations on a political transition process on an urgent basis, with a target of early January 2016 for the initiation of talks.”
Within six months, the process should establish “credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance,” with UN-supervised “free and fair elections” to be held within 18 months.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the two most important issues are launching political negotiations among Syrian parties and implementing a UN-monitored cease-fire. “Without peace talks, the cease-fire cannot be sustained. Without a cease-fire, peace talks cannot continue to produce results,” he said.
Wang noted the “severe threat posed by international terrorism,” a reference to ISIS, the jihadists who have exploited the chaos to seize large parts of Syria.
Considering the “ingredients” – not to mention Ban Ki-moon, the UN’s current Chief cook and bottle-washer – highlighted above …
YMMV, but this is not what I would describe as a ‘recipe’ for success. But then, when was the last time anything originating from the arms, elbows, hands, fingers etc of the multi-faceted, ever-expanding UN – whose motto should be “Send us more money, now” – actually resulted in what one might reasonably call “success”?!
Certainly not by anyone possessing a reasonable measure of critical thinking skills. A quality that appears to be increasingly absent from the inane, and often meaningless l’Obama mode, mutterings and utterings of Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau – and/or his “because it’s 2015” Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna.
For the record, so to speak, I recently started perusing the IISD’s 41,487 word summary of the much vaunted Paris proceedings, which mercifully ended on Dec. 12. The long-standing mantra of the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for the acronymically-challenged] leader of this particular UN COP-pack is that it is “informed by” the (so-called) science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
I’m not sure where it might fall in the actual “agreement”, but as I was skimming this 100 page IISD summary, I noticed that as an “Associated Decision”, the UNFCCC:
invites the IPCC to provide a special report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global GHG emission pathways.
Translation from UN-speak: “1.5°C above pre-industrial levels” does not have a scintilla of “science” – even of the IPCC-kind – to support it! So much for the IPCC “informing” the work of the UNFCCC, eh?! But certainly an invitation that the IPCC is highly unlikely to refuse.
Yet Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, the oh-so-knowledgeable (not!) McKenna was proudly proclaiming (according to the CBC on Dec. 8) that:
We support reference to striving for 1.5 as other countries have said
COP21: Catherine McKenna endorses goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C
And here’s a more recent view of McKenna in mantra-recycling – and 1.5°C cheerleader – mode. Courtesy of CBC TV’s December 14 edition of Power and Politics:
Whatever would Canada’s “views” be, eh, without the behind-closed-screens UN bureaucrats telling such not-so-bright-lights what to say?!
And isn’t it amazing that yet another cadre of behind-closed-screens UN bureaucrats have succeeded – via yet another array of arms, elbows, hands, fingers etc. – in hiding from public view the deafening sounds of UN silence regarding the real story behind Arab intransigence vis a vis the establishment of the State of Israel and its victory in the 1967 war initiated by … you guessed it … the Arab states.
Nor, btw, is this the first time that the UN has utterly failed on the diplomatic front vis a vis Syria. As I had noted almost a year ago, Ki-Moon’s immediate predecessor (the far from noble, albeit Nobel Peace Price winning), Kofi Annan had failed in his abysmal attempt – although not exactly described as such by the UN cheerleading New York Times in 2012 – to mastermind peace in Syria.
Notwithstanding his 2012 failure on the peace-in-Syria front, a few years later, Annan emerged as a member of The Elders – along with such other dutifully recycled luminaries as Ireland’s Mrs. (Mary) Robinson – as a fiery (but somewhat inarticulate over-the-top) advocate for … you guessed it, the “cause of climate change”:
Many communities … are showing the way to a carbon-neutral world. These efforts have to be scaled up [so that we’ll have a] carbon neutral world by 2050.
[…] If ever there were a cause which should unite us all, old or young, rich or poor, climate change must be it.
In short, whether it’s on the (unmandated) “climate front” or the oh-so-noble mandated front to prevent wars, one can always depend on the UN’s unique ability to perpetuate its own expansion … and urgent calls for more money – notwithstanding an ever-increasing budget of billions – to support its endeavours, such as they are!
And pardon my skepticism, but … I can’t help wondering if this much-belated and major gap-riddled “shift” to the problems in Syria, which seemed to begin surfacing in September, on the part of the UN Security Council may well turn out to be nothing more than a UN bureaucrat orchestrated media distraction from its failures in Paris on the “climate change” front.
Oh, well … time will tell, I suppose. Even if the UN – as is its longstanding wont – most likely won’t:-)
UPDATES 12/20/2015 11:00 AM PST: See also Christopher Booker’s assessment in the U.K. Telegraph on the climate change front:
The Paris climate fiasco leaves UK alone in the dark
Finally, ultra-greens and climate sceptics agree on something: that the climate conference was a sham
and – via the CBC of all unlikely places – the Munk Institute’s Stephen Toope’s assessment on the refugee front:
Why Canada’s refugee plan falls well short of a real solution
What does ‘duty to protect’ mean in a world awash in refugees?
But speaking of refugees … one further (long, thoughtful but very depressing) update on the Jewish refugee front, from Ron Rosenbaum, author of the must read if you haven’t already, Explaining Hitler, via Tablet. In this essay, Rosenbaum covers – in far more detail – many of the issues pertaining to Israel, on which I’ve barely touched above and/or elsewhere on my blog:
Thinking the Unthinkable: A Lamentation for the State of Israel
‘I believe the state of Israel may not survive. That its days are numbered. I can hardly bear to say it.’ [end UPDATES]
P.S. Happy belated Chanukah to those who celebrated … and a very Merry Christmas to those who will soon be celebrating! Hope the onion-laden latkes of the former and the sweet minced pies of the latter reflect the tastiness of days of yore!