Michael Taube: It’s Time for the West to Leave the United Nations, and Form a League of Democracies

Michael Taube: It’s Time for the West to Leave the United Nations, and Form a League of Democracies
An Israeli soldier runs down a crater-like hole giving way to a tunnel entrance, leading to where the military discovered tunnels underneath the main headquarters of UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, in Gaza on Feb. 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Michael Taube

The United Nations, like its predecessor, the League of Nations, was once regarded as a noble institution. A place where different countries could discuss and debate everything from political disputes to wars and military skirmishes. While there would obviously be points of agreement and disagreement, the main goal was to find a path to peace, security, and a safer world for all of us to live in.

That was then, and this is now.

Today’s U.N. resembles a political cesspool controlled by totalitarian states and rogue nations who reject democracy, liberty, and freedom. Here are several examples illustrating its stunning decline and fall: Iran and Iraq were scheduled to co-chair a 2003 U.N. nuclear disarmament conference before Saddam Hussein was toppled from power; North Korea, a major nuclear threat, chaired the U.N. Conference on Disarmament in 2011; Libya chaired the U.N. Human Rights Commission in 2003, and was a U.N. Security Council member; Syria chaired the U.N. Security Council in June 2002 and August 2003, and sat on the U.N. Human Rights Council.

It’s only getting worse with time. The most recent example involves the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, or UNRWA.

Various democratic countries, including Canada, recently suspended funding to UNRWA after reports came out in late January that 12 of its employees had taken part in Hamas’s attack against Israel on Oct. 7, 2023. The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee recently voted 30-19 in support of moving forward New Jersey Republican House Representative Chris Smith’s bill to permanently cut American aid to UNRWA.
UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini acknowledged that Israel had provided them with information to this effect. “Any UNRWA employee who was involved in acts of terror will be held accountable,” he said in a Feb. 8 statement, “including through criminal prosecution.” Ten of the 12 employees were fired, while the other two were reportedly dead.

This disgusting revelation only turned out to be the tip of the iceberg.

The Israel Defence Forces just uncovered what the Times of Israel described as a “subterranean data center — complete with an electrical room, industrial battery power banks and living quarters for Hamas terrorists operating the computer servers.” Where was this discovered? Underneath UNRWA’s headquarters in the Gaza Strip’s “upscale Rimal neighborhood,” of all places.
Lazzarini posted on X on Feb. 10 that UNRWA “did not know what is under its headquarters in Gaza.” To which the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories immediately responded, “Oh, you knew. ... You chose to ignore the facts so you can later try and deny them.”
Moreover, in a Feb. 10 interview with Fox News Digital, Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant suggested his country has knowledge of “dozens” of UNRWA employees being involved with the Hamas-led attack. “UNRWA is a group of terrorists who receive salaries from many countries,” Gallant said, and “these countries gave money to people who raped, murdered and took people into captivity.”

Is it any wonder that a growing number of world leaders have lost faith in the U.N.? It’s not only a shell of its former self, but it’s reached a point where it can’t be salvaged.

That’s why I and others have been occasionally calling on western nations to leave the U.N. and start a League of Democracies.
The original concept can be found in a May 22, 2004, Washington Post op-ed written by Ivo Daalder (currently president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs) and James Lindsay (currently senior vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations). They proposed an Alliance of Democratic States, which would “unite nations with entrenched democratic traditions ... where democracy is so rooted that reversion to autocratic rule is unthinkable.” The alliance’s purpose “would be to strengthen international cooperation to combat terrorism, curtail weapons proliferation, cure infectious diseases and curb global warming.” It would also “work vigorously to advance the values that its members see as fundamental to their security and well-being — democratic government, respect for human rights, a market-based economy.”

Daalder and Lindsay’s important idea has been studied and expanded over the years. Similar concepts like Federation of Democracies and Concert of Democracies have been proposed, too.

My preference has always been for a League of Democracies.

It would harken back to the time when the League of Nations was formed on Jan. 10, 1920, at the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. This fledgling organization stood for concepts like global peace, collective security, rule of law and economic stabilization. It helped shape the fabric of our modern world.

The old League of Nations’ legacy could therefore serve as inspiration for freedom-loving countries to abandon the disgraced United Nations and build a new League of Democracies to defend our policies, ideas, and values. It’s time to do it.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.