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The chair of the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, has been taken over by – – Iran.

Claudia Rosett, who writes often and incisively to expose the evils of the self-disgraced UN, asks in a Forbes article: 

In what universe does Iran’s oil-based tyranny qualify to chair this board?

In the rest of her article, she gives reasons why Iran is not qualified to occupy this powerful position.  But in fact these are the very reasons why Iran ‘qualifies’ for it, in the world as it is today. 

Iran’s ascent to the chairmanship of the UNDP’s 36-member executive board took place last Friday, over the protests of the U.S., which broke with the U.N. custom of consensus decision-making to call for a vote. Iran won, 22 to four, with five abstentions and several board members apparently absent.

In response to my queries about this, a U.S. delegate to the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council, Ambassador T. Vance McMahan, said in an e-mailed statement: "The U.S. called for a vote on the chairmanship of UNDP because we believe that Iran is not a responsible member of the international community, and should not be given a leadership role at a major UN program, even if the position is a largely ceremonial one."

But this is no purely cosmetic post. The UNDP’s own Web site includes an "Information Note," detailing the substantial responsibilities of its executive board, which oversees not only the UNDP, but also the U.N. Population Fund, or UNFPA.

The board is tasked to receive information and give guidance to the heads of these agencies, monitor performance, approve programs, decide on administrative and financial plans and budgets, recommend new initiatives and submit yearly reports to the General Assembly’s Economic and Social Council…

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran’s main entrepreneurial growth industry has been terrorism–witness Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and a bloody trail of bombings, mayhem, infiltration and subversion, from Beirut to Argentina to today’s Iraq.

At home, along with forcibly veiling its women and jailing and torturing its opposition, Iran–according to New York-based Freedom House–"is a world leader in juvenile executions."

Iran’s "development" goals include the avowed desire of its president to wipe Israel off the map and Tehran’s evident plan to develop the nuclear weapons to do it–even if that means violating five U.N. Security Council resolutions to date and seeking ways around U.N. and U.S. sanctions.

Iran takes up the UNDP gavel at a sensitive time, both for a tumultuous world and for the UNDP itself. At its first regular board session next week–while most eyes are on Obama’s inauguration in Washington–the UNDP plans to forge ahead with re-opening its office in North Korea.

That office was shut down in March 2007, as a result of the so-called Cash-for-Kim scandal, which flared up after the U.S. Mission to the U.N. raised persistent questions about UNDP misconduct in Kim Jong Il’s North Korea.

It turned out the UNDP’s Pyongyang office, in violation of its own rules, had been funneling hard cash to Kim Jong Il’s regime, storing counterfeit $100 banknotes in its office safe and, with North Korea then on the UNDP board, was using development funds to buy business class tickets for North Korean officials to attend board meetings in New York.

A report last June from a panel authorized by the UNDP itself finally confirmed–well after the fact–that the UNDP had provided North Korea with scores of dual-use technologies, meaning that equipment shipped in under the U.N. label of "development" could also be turned to military use.

A Senate subcommittee investigation, led by Sens. Norm Coleman and Carl Levin, further discovered, as disclosed in aJanuary 2008 report, that the UNDP in North Korea had transferred funds to North Korean front entities involved in arms and nuclear proliferation networks…

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Sunday, January 18, 2009

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