Thursday, October 21, 2004

Why the UN is Ineffective

Last week, I asked you "Why do We Have the UN? Well now here's a reason why we shouldn't have the UN.

LONDON – The European Union appears to have resolved a year-long dispute with Syria over its weapons of mass destruction program.

Officials said Brussels and Damascus have agreed on a clause that addresses Syria's WMD programs. They said the clause does not stipulate that Syria must dismantle its programs, rather that Damascus would not proliferate biological, chemical or nuclear weapons.

"It [association agreement] includes essential provisions on respect for the democratic principles and fundamental human rights, cooperation to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and anti-terrorism," the EU statement said.

In September, U.S. officials said the intelligence community determined that Syria transferred chemical bombs and rockets to Sudan, Middle East Newsline reported. The officials said the Syrian nonconventional weapons appeared to have been tested in battle in the rebel-torn Darfour province.

The resolution of the dispute facilitated the conclusion of an EU association agreement with Damascus. On Tuesday, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk A-Shaara initialed the trade and political accord in Brussels in a move meant to grant Damascus equal status to that of other members of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

"The European Commission and Syria today formally mark the end of negotiations for an EU-Syria Association Agreement by initialing the text," an EU statement said on Tuesday. "The agreement will now be submitted for approval to the decision-making bodies on both sides and will later be ratified by parliaments."

The other members of the partnership are Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Tunisia and Turkey. The EU has also been negotiating free trade agreements with the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council.

The EU-Syrian accord was completed in December 2003. At that point, Britain, Denmark and Germany demanded a Syrian commitment to dismantle its biological and chemical weapons programs.

The EU-Syrian accord would require approval of 25 EU foreign ministers. The ministers were scheduled to review the pact in their meeting in December 2004.

Officials said the EU and Syria negotiated an association agreement for four years. In 2002, the effort was accelerated, and in December 2003 an understanding was reached on all issues except a Syrian commitment not to proliferate WMD.

In September 2004, Syria agreed to the text of the WMD nonproliferation provision. The EU statement, however, did not disclose the wording of the commitment.

The EU Association Agreement provides a framework for political dialogue between Brussels and Damascus on such issues as WMD, missiles, counter-terrorism and human rights, officials said. They said the agreement also envisions the creation of a free trade area between the EU and Syria.

The agreement was concluded as the United States has threatened to impose additional sanctions on Damascus. The Bush administration has determined that Syria failed to fulfill U.S. demands for a military withdrawal from Lebanon and the expulsion of groups deemed terrorists.

So Syria, a nation know to sponsor terrorism, and for providing weapons to other terrorist nations, is allowed by the UN to keep it's weapons programs? And to think we didn't give them veto power over our military actions. What were we thinking?