Saturday, August 27, 2011

House Rep Slams U.N. After Cuba Succeeds N. Korea at Helm of Nuclear Panel

House Rep Slams U.N. After Cuba Succeeds N. Korea at Helm of Nuclear Panel
Published August 26, 2011

A top House lawmaker ridiculed the United Nations after Cuba assumed the
rotating presidency of a nuclear arms control panel, replacing North
Korea at the helm of the group.

Cuba succeeded North Korea on the 65-member U.N. Disarmament Conference
in Geneva.

"It's hard to fathom a more ludicrous image than Kim Jong Il passing the
chair of the Conference on Disarmament to the Castro brothers, but
that's what passes for change at the U.N.," said Rep. Ileana
Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

U.N. watchdogs were outraged when North Korea took the helm earlier this
year despite its breaches of arms embargoes and threats to expand its
own nuclear program.

Ros-Lehtinen expressed concern that Cuba would "exploit" its new
position to "distract from the increasing threat of proliferation posed
by its allies Iran, North Korea and Syria." She called for new
"membership and leadership standards" for U.N. organizations.

"There is simply too much at stake to allow the likes of North Korea and
Cuba to be at the helm of arms control bodies, or to allow human rights
abusers to serve on the Human Rights Council, as Cuba, China, and Russia
do, and as Libya did until recently," she said in a statement. The
lawmaker is pushing a bill in Congress to condition U.S. funding for the
United Nations on reforms.

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