Let me be clear at the outset that I don’t believe the existence of the United Nations accomplishes any good thing, and has always seemed to me to be a sinister precursor of a unified world government. The U.N. is famous for providing a forum for world leaders to pontificate at length about what’s wrong with the world today. Usually that means that the United States isn’t throwing enough money at their pet projects. Behind the scenes, meanwhile, it is entangled in Oil-for-Food, Agenda 21, the Law of the Sea Treaty, UNESCO, an occasional Earth Summit or Climate Change Conference, and other activities that are rarely mentioned in the national news media, but always come with a huge price tag.
And now, the U.N. is about to expand its headquarters building at a cost of about $475 million. Naturally, if they’re building in New York, the cost will greatly exceed the estimates. But before the new building goes up, let us test the assumption that the United States must host this party indefinitely.
The U.S. has been the largest financial contributor to the United Nations every year since its creation in 1945. It is time for another country to have the honor and the burden of hosting the U.N. headquarters. In my opinion, the construction of the building and maintenance of the U.N. headquarters should be paid by every country in the world except the country where the headquarters building is located. I think that’s only fair, since the host country will have to provide security, transportation and caviar.
Since the U.N. has fostered anti-American rhetoric since shortly after it opened, the visiting dignitaries will understand if we suggest they find facilities in another country. About five years ago, Carlos Alberto Montaner put forth the same idea in his article, “Send Out the Clowns”, suggesting Caracas, Havana, or Brazzaville as appropriate shipping destinations. Burt Prelutsky had the same idea two years earlier: “Let them set up camp in the Hague or Geneva or Fallujah, for that matter.”
Allow me to suggest some other possible locations as well:
Juarez, Mexico: The diplomats would soon learn that getting your hubcaps stolen isn’t the biggest hazard when visiting Mexico. The increased hotel business in El Paso would be a beneficial side effect.
Nauru: Since the U.N. involves every country in the world, any place could be considered “centrally located.” Nauru has just enough land for the U.N. building, a nice hotel, and an airport. And the economy there could really use a boost. Most diplomats travel by air to the current U.N. headquarters, so what’s the difference?
Tuvalu: Tuvalu is constantly asking the U.N. for a handout due to allegedly rising sea levels. Just like Nauru, their economy could use a boost, and this would do it.
Zimbabwe: When it takes a basket full of Zimbabwe currency to buy a loaf of bread, imagine the price tag on a luxury hotel room.
North Korea: Let’s see how the North Koreans like the concept of “diplomatic immunity” when the ambassadors park their limousines wherever they like, and send encrypted messages back home.
Uganda: If the U.N. diplomats spend some time in a country where mosquito-borne malaria is an everyday threat, they might re-think the merits of DDT.
The South Pole: Politically neutral, lots of land available, and it’s a location that’s sure to put the brakes on any belief in global warming, natural or otherwise.
France: Perhaps the ideal location. France is run by socialists, and the French have a reputation for being somewhat arrogant and having an over-enhanced perception of their own importance to the rest of the world. Everything in France is overpriced and overrated. A perfect match.
The world has a number of unglamorous travel destinations, distasteful dictatorships, and irrelevant dots on the map. The United Nations ambassadors from other countries should feel free to criticize the United States, when such criticism is merited, and sometimes even when it isn’t. But out of simple courtesy, they should act like responsible adults while they are in New York. Threatening to evict them might remind them to appreciate the luxury they now enjoy.
Andrew K. Dart is a broadcast engineer in Dallas, Texas, and is also the editor of akdart.com.
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