The US vs. the UN: The Struggle for Real International Law


The current United Nations General Assembly once again demonstrates the clear trend that the United Nations has completely exhausted itself as a competent institution intended to solve global problems. 

The numerous proposals to reform the UN voiced by the presidents and foreign ministers of a number of partner countries at the General Assembly are an additional and clear indication that the United Nations’ activities have major flaws. 

The meetings of the UN Security Council which took place in parallel also confirmed that real dialogue on critical topics is doomed to fail. When the Syrian representative addressed the assembly and discussed the Syrian conflict, the US’s UN representative demonstratively left the room. How is it possible to discuss serious questions in such an atmosphere? 

Of course, thanks to the United Nations, some crisis situations have been solved in the past, but this was before. The world has changed significantly. The rudiments of international law which are still adequate for the majority of countries and peoples need be advanced to a more adequate level which must be at once global but exclude the possibility of such strong influence on the part of destructive actors such as, for example, the United States.

The headquarters of the UN are in New York, so the US will always implicitly influence the decisions of the organization, even if the official presence of the country will be reduced to  a minimum. On the eve of the occupation of Iraq, the US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, threatened to suspend the US’s contributive payments and even leave the organization. Although the US did not do this (as they need the UN as an effective tool for lobbying their interests), they did launch the aggression against Iraq without any UN sanction. However, the United Nations itself did end up complicit in the development of the political mechanisms that justified the unilateral (or coalition) occupation.

In 2001, the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) of the United Nations developed a doctrine called responsibility to protect (R2P). This doctrine marked the transformation of the international understanding of sovereignty, which had historically followed the ideas of Westphalian law and non-interference. Humanitarian intervention, another doctrine which the Clinton administration used to justify the military intervention in Haiti and the bombing of Yugoslavia, began to take a new shape in the context of international law. The whole R2P doctrine suggests that “sovereign states have a responsibility to protect their own citizens from avoidable catastrophe” (the 2001 ICISS Report: VIII) and " the international community should encourage or assist states to exercise this responsibility " (UN, 2012). The R2P doctrine is a norm, not law, but has been tied to international law.

Naturally, the "international community" means the United States and its partners, i. e., the liberal, democratic collective West and its former colonies having the status of junior partners.

For a long time, this doctrine has been a powerful tool of the Western community’s influence, including for securing deals, dominating negotiations, and imposing economic sanctions with the assistance of non-governmental organizations, states, and international institutions. However, there have been fundamental failures in this “policy” that, for instance, led to the genocide in Rwanda and the civil war in Sudan (in 2003, Sudanese government forces and Janjaweed militias were found guilty of mass murder and forced displacement with at least 200,000 people killed and 2.5 million expelled from their places of residence). Moreover, even some among the Western community have begun to criticize this doctrine. It has come to be seen as merely another method of waging “proxy war” and “creating pretexts on the basis of moral hysteria” for the “civilized world’s” invasions against “tyrants.” 

But there are even more indirect mechanisms of influence on other countries through humanitarian, cultural and economic ways. For example, there is the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA)[1] founded in the USA in 1893 through the efforts of Seventh-Day Adventists. This organization takes part in meetings of the UN Human Rights Council every year, and has branches in 80 countries, including Russia. This Protestant sect has usurped the right to assert what is religious freedom, which countries are free, which are oppressive, and what should be done to ensure that “freedom” appears. 

Recently, the homosexual lobby has also used the UN to destroy traditional family values. As Hillary Clinton said during her speech at the UN Commission on Human Rights in December 2011: “Gay rights are human rights.” [2] 

The trend of promoting gay marriage in the UN is directly linked to the promotion and imposition of abortion policies. They are evoked under the auspices of abstract gender equality programs and the protection of human rights. The key role in this process is played not so much by the countries where these perversions have become normal, but by the UN’s bureaucratic apparatus. Questions of birth and population are dealt with by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In fact, they follow a Malthusian strategy aiming to limit the birth rate through the sterilization of women and abortion. 

Conspiracy theorists argue that there is a “golden billion” concerned by the planet’s population growth that seeks to reduce such by organizing wars and epidemics. However, there is real, documented evidence which confirms that it is the United States that is interested in the process of limiting the growth of the Earth's population. It is enough to acquaint oneself with the US’s secret memorandum NSA NSSM200, which was prepared by Henry Kissinger and adopted on December 10th, 1974. The White House declassified it in 1989. It was entitled “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth For U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” [3]

Facts related to the UNFPA’s leadership show that the general line of global population control was carried out even before the establishment of the United Nations and is linked to the activities of certain groups.

For example, in 2001, the UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador was International Council for Family Planning Chairman Alexander Sanger. As a representative and advocate of birth control, Sanger was named “one of the 100 most influential people on the planet of all time” in 1995. Meanwhile, Alexander Sanger is the grandson of Margaret Sange, the “sexual enlightener” who in 1921 founded the American Birth Control League, and then the National Committee for the Legalization of Birth Control in 1929. In a sense, Alexander Sanger is the successor of her cause.

Margaret Sanger promoted the idea of the widespread use of contraception and abortion as a clinical practice supported by the state. In addition, she engaged in the smuggling of diaphragms into the US and published obscene materials in the press, repeatedly violating federal laws.

Margaret Sanger’s ideological convictions were racist and anarchist and believed that both birth control and eugenics propaganda could “lead the race to eliminate defective humans.”[4] Her proposals included toughening immigration policies, the free use of birth control methods, the right to family planning for the sane while compulsory segregation or sterilization for the mentally handicapped.[5] 

What’s more, the Washington establishment virtually does not hide the fact that it actively uses mechanisms of economic coercion to secure its power. “In the WTO, the World Bank, and the IMF, the US’s voice is loudest. Thus, global hegemony and economic globalization perfectly complement each other. The US stands for an open global system, but they largely define the rules and decide how much they want to be independent from this system,” Zbigniew Brzezinski says. [6]

The mechanisms of US influence in the IMF are quite simple. The US invested the largest portion in the creation of this fund, about 16.74%. Thus, they have the right to veto on strategic issues. In most cases, the US’s traditional partners in the IMF from among the EU countries and Japan share Washington’s positions on key issues of the global economy and ideology, i.e., neoliberalism. At the same time, there is bilateral trade and mutual investment which strengthens the relationship between these countries. The currencies of politically weak countries are tied to the dollar in one way or another. Finally, most of the IMF staff are US citizens.

The USA has even used its position in the IMF to achieve political resolutions in the UN. For example, in order to enlist their support in the UN Security Council, the United States secretly negotiates with countries that need loans or even mitigates the conditions provided for economic policies.

When Ecuador was a member of the UN Security Council, the war in the Persian Gulf started. Ecuador voted on 12 resolutions for the US and abstained on only two. In 1991, Ecuador received 20 million SDR’s from the IMF. Yemen, however, did not vote for the invasion of Iraq for a number of considerations. Then, the US Secretary of State conveyed to the Yemeni Ambassador in Washington a note saying “This vote will cost you more than ever.” [7]

Immediately after, the US ceased aid to Yemen, thus causing a currency shortage. Then, the IMF did not conclude a single agreement with Yemen until 1996. But in 1992, Zimbabwe, for example, was also part of the UN Security Council. Unlike Yemen, it supported 11 resolutions against Iraq. As a result, it received new preferential conditions for loans. [8]

According to research by Dreher and Jensen, if a country votes in accordance with the US’s position in the UN General Assembly, then the IMF cooperates with this country with fewer preconditions. [9]

Reforming the IMF and World Bank is also being actively discussed lately. But, as in the case of the UN, this is likely to be limited by permutations and decorative appointments. The essence remains the same: the disproportionate distribution of wealth to the detriment of the majority of countries and nations.

What can be an alternative to the UN? Actively developing regional forums and structures such as ASEAN, SCO, UNASUR, and organizations like BRICS can present alternatives. Together with other initiatives, they can become the precursors of a new international structure founded on the principle of multipolarity and sovereignty. But liberal elements and the remnants of the Western-centric model must not be allowed into this new system. Just like a virus, they are capable of infecting the healthy bodies of states and regions.



[2] США будут бороться за права геев во всем мире. BBC, 7 декабря 2011.

[3] NSSM 200, Implications of Worldwide Population Growth For U.S. Security and Overseas Interests (THE KISSINGER REPORT), December 10, 1974

[4] Engelman, Peter C, «Margaret Sanger», article in Encyclopedia of leadership, Volume 4, George R. Goethals, et al (Eds), SAGE, 2004, Р. 132.

[5] Porter, Nicole S.; Bothne Nancy; Leonard, Jason. Public Policy Issues Research Trends / Evans, Sophie J.. — Nova Science. — P. 126.

[6] Brzezinski Z. The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership. Basic Books. 2004.

[7] Bandow D. Avoiding War/ JSTOR// Foreign Policy Magazine, 1992, 89. P. 161.

[8] К.Б. Роуз. Механизмы и пределы влияния США в МВФ. - М.: РАН, 2013. С. 55.

[9] Dreher A., Jensen N.M. Independent Actor or Agent? An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of US Interests on IMF Conditions// KOF Working Papers, 2005.