North Korea Assumes Presidency Of U.N. Arms Control Commission

Sometimes, you just can’t make stuff like this up:

In the latest ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ news from the United Nations, North Korea assumed the presidency of the Conference on Disarmament Tuesday.

“Bare months after the U.N. finally suspended Libya’s Col. Muammar Qaddafi from its Human Rights Council, North Korea wins the propaganda coup of heading the world’s disarmament agency,” the executive director of UN Watch Hillel Neuer said in a statement protesting the move. “It’s asking the fox to guard the chickens, and damages the U.N.’s credibility.”

According to the U.N. summary of the meeting, North Korea’s So Se Pyong addressed the 65-member arms control forum, saying that “he was very much committed to the Conference and during his presidency he welcomed any sort of constructive proposals that strengthened the work and credibility of the body.”

Neuer said that though North Korea’s new role as head of the conference, which reports to the U.N. General Assembly, would likely be justified by the U.N. by saying it was the result of a an “automatic rotation,” such an excuse was not sufficient.

“While the U.N. will likely defend North Korea’s appointment as simply an automatic rotation,” he said, “no system should tolerate such a fundamental conflict of interests. It’s common sense that a disarmament body should not be headed by the world’s arch-villain on illegal weapons and nuclear proliferation, notorious for exporting missiles and nuclear know-how to fellow rogue regimes around the globe.”

Gee, do you think? If nothing else, this just establishes yet again the absurdity of much of what the United Nations does.
FILED UNDER: Asia, National Security, Quick Takes, United Nations, World Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. G.A.Phillips says:

    What a waste of real estate and tax money. Wrecking ball it and build a Walmart.

  2. Tano says:

    North Korea wins the propaganda coup of heading the world’s disarmament agency,”

    The “world’s disarmament agency”???? Where does he get that? This article is just more hyped up, cheap shot nonsense. I cannot remember a single thing that the CoD has ever really done. And I challenge anyone to point out how NK’s leadership of this body is going to affect anything, one way or another.

    To the extent that it is prestigious (and I would quantify that at about zero), its a bad thing. To the extent that it amounts to another small step of bringing NK out of its isolated wilderness and makes it cognizant of international norms, it might have a minor positive effect.

  3. SteveP says:

    damages the U.N.’s credibility.”

    The Useless Nitwits have credibility? Since when?

  4. DMan says:

    I actually agree with GA. It’s an annoying trend to ignore the structural inadequacies of the UN, it desperately needs to address these if it wants to have any positive effect and credibility.

    The UN’s stated objectives consist of facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace.

    Walmart may not be an ideal replacement, but they are at least structurally suited to meet their profit objectives. They also probably have greater mass credibility in their “save money, live better” slogan than the UN has.

    There is of course always the concern that Walmart’s producers, as well as their laborer’s, might take a hit at the expense of consumer and shareholder benefits. If it reaches that point, we can decide whether we will need to create an institutional system that protects these individuals from exploitation and conflict, if Walmart allows it of course.

  5. Tano says:

    It’s an annoying trend to ignore the structural inadequacies of the UN

    I always find it odd that the same people who make it clear that they do not want to move a single inch in the direction of establishing a world government, criticize the UN for not being a more effective world body.

    The UN’s stated objectives consist of facilitating cooperation…

    Right. Facilitating. Not implementing. Not forcing. Not ruling. Merely facilitating. Set up some international body where diplomats can sit around and talk about things (and exercise zero power to actually do anything), and you have a forum in which some sort of international politics can be played. The body facilitates communication, and the dissemination of standards of behavior and principles Its a good thing, in principle, to have the bad guys sit in on these things. Let them sit in the middle chair once in a while – who really cares? Its much better than having them on the outside, completely out of touch with the rest of the international community, and just doing things on their own, without any need to justify their actions even to a bunch of diplomats.