Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has introduced in the House of Representatives the U.N. Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act. The purpose of this legislation is to allow the United States—which pays 22 percent of the U.N.’s core budget, and 25 percent of its peacekeeping expenses—to keep better track of how the money is spent, and make sure expenditures serve policies and programs consistent with American interests and principles. Yet tinkering with the U.N.’s funding mechanisms will never correct the fatal flaw with the U.N. itself. To think otherwise is to assume that glasnost and perestroika could have saved the Soviet Union.
That flaw is the lack of consistent, unifying moral and political principles shared by member nations that can justify U.N. policies or legitimize the use of force to deter and punish aggression. Because of that absence, authoritarian, totalitarian, and even gangster regimes have seats in the U.N. Assembly and its various councils and commissions. Of course, lip service is paid to Western ideals like universal human rights, political freedom, and liberal democracy, but these are nominally recognized not because all other nations believe in them, but because of the West’s economic and military dominance.