Heritage Foundation Sponsors Briefing for NGOs at the United Nations

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Dr. Janice Crouse, Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, spoke recently at the United Nations (U.N.) for the Heritage Foundation’s U.N. briefing for non-governmental organizations. U.S. Representative to the United Nations John Bolton delivered the keynote address titled “Reclaiming the Language of Freedom at the United Nations.”

Dr. Crouse spoke in one of four sessions that followed Ambassador Bolton’s address. In the session titled, “Economic and Political Rights at the United Nations,” speakers underscored the major role of women’s rights in economic and political issues, tracing past United Nations conferences to illustrate the point.

Another important topic covered in the session was the left’s “seductive rhetoric,” described as a false understanding of economic and political rights based on a utopian idea of freedom. According to the left, economic rights derive from a freedom wherein there are no hindrances to prosperity for anyone. Similarly, political rights depend completely on a government’s guarantee of prosperity and well-being to citizens.

“The left believes nothing should interfere with anyone’s prosperity. A person’s ability, education, or experience doesn’t matter,” said Dr. Crouse. “They believe that everyone should have economic equality.”

“Conservatives are at a tactical disadvantage because liberals are not constrained by reality. Liberals can promise anything; the way they think things ought to be, they think it can be. Conservatives, on the other hand, have to deal with reality.”

In her speech, Dr. Crouse outlined four guidelines that the United Nations should take into consideration when addressing economic and political rights.

1) The anchor of all thought and action must be truth.

“The cultural conservatives at the U.N. have truth on their side. Where the radical left focuses on utopian schemes, the conservatives focus on reality. For instance, the Prime Minister of Haiti told the attendees at the Millennium Development Summit, ‘After 50 years of U.N. aid, there has been no noticeable change in Haiti.’ In other words, the truth is that most of U.N. aid is wasted because it doesn’t address the root problems of dictatorships and authoritarian governments.”

2) Economic freedom must be more important than foreign aid.

“The U.N. has worked under the assumption that foreign aid is the key to getting people out of the ‘poverty trap.’ A recent study by the Cato Institute shows that countries that are given economic freedom have stronger positive impact on growth than those that receive foreign aid. This follows the axiom that it is better to give a man seeds than to offer him bread.”

3) Personnel are policy.

“The U.N. needs more appointees like John Bolton; the U.N. needs people who will stand up to hypocrisy and corruption. Sadly, most of the U.N.’s development planners and decision-makers, the power brokers and the voices in the bully pulpits, are leaders of the radical left.”

4) Use financial leverage.

“Nearly 90% of the U.N.’s budget comes from 50 nations who push U.N. reform, but they are blocked by the 120 nations that only provide 12% of the budget. The U.N.’s easy money has become a trough at which some of the most aggressive despots in the world survive. Worse, that money has become the means through which the U.N. maintains international control – giving U.N. funds as a ‘carrot’ to attract cooperation and withholding funds as a ‘stick’ to punish those who fail to comply with U.N. provisions and recommendations.”

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