I wrote last week about the WHO’s plan to push for a massive, de facto global tobacco tax at a big confab in Moscow (because, obviously, there’s nothing more pressing – cough, cough, EBOLA, cough, cough – that the WHO should be focusing on than people smoking).
Well, from Russia comes word that at the conference, that plan was passed, after members of the public, INTERPOL, people representing poor farmers who would be adversely impacted by the plan, and of course the media, were chucked out so that the global tax initiative could be given a big thumbs up in (almost) secret.
This is bad news for anyone who is concerned about fiscal sovereignty and the ability of countries to make their own taxing and spending decisions.
But it is also pretty typical of the UN insofar as the move was the apparent result of the usual suite of bad actors who get treated as “legitimate” by UN organizations making decisions that affect the rest of the world, while trying to ensure that they can’t be criticized for doing what they’re doing or even have anyone know about it.
“We don’t need the public here!,” proclaimed Uganda’s representative.
Uganda, for those who don’t know, is a country that is run by a former guerilla fighter strongman who has been in office for 28 years, and which tried to put on the books a law making homosexuality punishable by death.
Libya’s chief delegate Mohamed Ibrahim Saleh Daganee gritted his teeth as he demanded other delegates join him in voting to close the meeting to the public. “We don’t know who these people are,” complained Mr. Daganee, a former health information director under Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi may be dead, but it appears that his cronies are alive and well and pushing for global taxes while palling around with Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
The legitimacy of this whole conference was put in doubt by the WHO stupidly proceeding with holding it in Moscow (because apparently they’re good with rewarding Vladimir Putin for his aggression in the Ukraine and other former Soviet territories), and the US and Canada refusing to attend the conference as a result.
But now, it’s clear that the whole thing was just an extreme caricature of everything that sucks and is farcical about the UN. Rewarding quasi-dictatorial strongmen and treating them as being on a par with, say, totally democratically elected premiers from countries that recognize human rights and civil liberties and property rights and things like that. Giving authoritarian regimes and people who worked for terrorist-supporting dictators a seat at the table and conferring legitimacy and credibility upon them. Trying to erode countries’ sovereignty in secret, with zero transparency.
That’s the UN. And apparently, the WHO.
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