The United States versus the World at the United Nations
America, we have all been taught for half a century, is the leader of
"The Free World". If this is so, it's proper to ask: Where are the
followers? Where is the evidence that Washington's world view sways
the multitude of nations? To enlist support for its wars in Korea,
Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, the United States had to resort to bribery
and threats. At the United Nations, the US has, with noteworthy regularity,
been on the minority side in voting on resolutions. The table below
shows a portion of this pattern. It covers an arbitrarily chosen
10-year period, 1978 through 1987, and is composed of the following
1978-1981: All voting in the General Assembly examined; only those resolutions for which the US cast a solitary "no" vote or were joined by one or two other nations are listed.
1982-1983: All voting in the General Assembly examined; only those resolutions for which the US cast a solitary "no" vote are listed.
1984-1987: Only a portion of the General Assembly resolutions are examined, and a sample has been selected, primarily for diversity.
The number of abstentions is not shown. There were many resolutions where Israel cast a solitary "no" vote and the US was the sole abstainer.
Voting on resolutions of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council are not included here, but these votes show a very similar pattern. In the Council -- where its solitary "no" vote is enough to defeat a measure -- the United States is free to play its role of international school bully.
We were all also taught that the Communists had no respect for world opinion.
"... a decent respect to the opinions of mankind ..."
The Declaration of Independence
Dec. 15 33/75 119-2 (US, Israel)
Urges the Security Council, especially its permanent members, to take all necessary measures for insuring UN decisions on the maintenance of international peace and security.
Dec. 18 33/110 110-2 (US, Israel)
Living conditions of the Palestinian people
Dec. 18 33/113C 97-3 (US, Israel, Guatemala)
Condemnation of Israeli human rights record in occupied territories
Dec. 19 33/136 119-1 (US)
Calls upon developed countries to increase quantity and quality of
development assistance to underdeveloped countries.
Jan. 24 33/183M 114-3 (US, France, UK)
To end all military and nuclear collaboration with apartheid South Africa
Jan. 29 33/196 111-1 (US)
Protectionism of developing countries' exports
Nov. 23 34/46 136-1 (US)
Alternate approaches within the UN system for improving the
enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms
Nov. 23 34/52E 121-3 (US, Israel, Australia)
Return of inhabitants expelled by Israel.
Dec. 11 34/83J 120-3 (US, UK, France)
Negotiations on disarmament and cessation of nuclear arms race.
Dec. 12 34/90A 111-2 (US, Israel)
Demand that Israel desist from certain human rights violations
Dec. 12 34/93D 132-3 (US, UK, France)
Strengthening arms embargo against South Africa
Dec. 12 34/93I 134-3 (US, UK, France)
Assistance to the oppressed people of South Africa and their liberation movement.
Dec. 14 34/100 104-2 (US, Israel)
Against support for intervention in the internal or external affairs of States.
Dec. 14 34/113 120-2 (US, Israel)
Request for report on the living conditions of Palestinians in occupied Arab countries.
Dec. 14 34/133 112-3 (US, Israel, Canada)
Assistance to Palestinian people.
Dec. 14 34/136 118-2 (US, Israel)
Sovereignty over national resources in occupied Arab territories.
Dec. 17 34/158 121-2 (US, Israel)
Prepare and carry out the UN Conference on Women
Dec. 17 34/160 122-2 (US, Israel)
Include Palestinian women in agenda of UN Conference on Women
Dec. 19 34/199 112-1 (US)
Safeguarding rights of developing countries in multinational trade negotiations
Nov. 3 35/13E 96-3 (US, Israel, Canada)
Requests Israel to return displace persons.
Dec. 5 35/57 134-1 (US)
Establishment of a New International Economic Order to promote the growth of underdeveloped countries and international economic co-operation.
Dec. 5 35/75 118-2 (US, Israel)
Condemns Israeli policy re the living conditions of Palestinian people.
Dec. 11 35/119 134-3 (US, UK, France)
Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
Dec. 11 35/122C 118-2 (US, Israel)
Israeli human rights practices in occupied territories. [Same day, similar resolutions, 35/122E -- 119-2 vote, and 35/122F -- 117-2]
Dec. 11 35/136 132-3 (US, Israel, Canada)
Endorse Program of Action for Second Half of UN Decade for Women
Dec. 12 35/145A 111-2 (US, UK)
Cessation of all nuclear test explosions
Dec. 12 35/154 110-2 (US, Albania)
Declaration of non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.
Dec. 15 35/169C 120-3 (US, Israel, Australia)
Rights of Palestinians
Dec. 15 35/174 120-1 (US)
Emphasising that the development of nations and individuals is a human right.
Dec. 16 35/206J 137-3 (US, UK, France)
Assistance to oppressed people of South Africa and their national liberation movement.
Oct. 28 36/12 145-1 (US)
Anti-racism; condemns apartheid in South Africa and Namibia
Oct. 28 36/13 124-1 (US)
Condemns collaboration of certain States and transnational corporations with the South African regime
Oct. 28 36/15 114-2 (US, Israel)
Demand that Israel cease excavations of certain sites in E. Jerusalem
Nov. 9 36/18 123-1 (US)
To promote co-operative movements in developing countries (agricultural, savings and credits, housing, consumer protection, social services, etc.)
Nov. 9 36/19 126-1 (US)
The right of every state to choose its economic and social system in accord with the will of its people, without outside interference in whatever form it takes
Nov. 13 36/27 109-2 (US, Israel)
Condemns Israel for its bombing of an Iraqi nuclear installation
Dec. 1 36/68 133-3 (US, UK, Guatemala)
Condemns activities of foreign economic interests in colonial territories
Dec. 4 36/73 109-2 (US, Israel)
Condemns Israeli policy re living conditions of the Palestinian people
Dec. 9 36/84 118-2 (US, UK)
Cessation of all test explosions of nuclear weapons
Dec. 9 36/87B 107-2 (US, Israel)
Establishment of a nuclear-weapon free zone in the Middle East
Dec. 9 36/92J 78-3 (US, Canada, Brazil)
World-wide action for collecting signatures in support of measures to prevent nuclear war, curb the arms race and promote disarmament
Dec. 9 36/96B 109-1 (US)
Urges negotiations on prohibition of chemical and biological weapons
Dec. 9 36/98 101-2 (US, Israel)
Demands Israelis renounce possession of nuclear weapons
Dec. 10 36/120A 121-2 (US, Israel)
Rights of the Palestinian people
Dec. 10 36/120B 119-3 (US, Israel, Canada)
Dec. 10 36/120E 139-2 (US, Israel)
Status of Jerusalem
Dec. 14 36/133 135-1 (US)
Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc. are human rights
Dec. 16 36/146A 141-2 (US, Israel)
Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip
Dec. 16 36/146B 121-3 (US, Israel, Canada)
Rights of displaced Palestinians to return to their homes
Dec. 16 36/146C 117-2 (US, Israel)
Revenues derived from Palestinian refugees' properties
Dec.16 36/146G 119-2(US, Israel) Establishment of University of Jerusalem for Palestinian refugees Dec. 16 36/147C 111-2 (US,Israel) Israeli violations of human rights in occupied territories Dec. 16 36/147F 114-2 (US,Israel) Condemns Israeli closing of universities in occupied territories Dec. 16 36/149B 147-2 (US,Israel) Calls for the establishment of a new and more just world information and communications order Dec. 16 36/150 139-2 (US,Israel) Opposes Israel's decision to build a canal linking the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea Dec. 17 36/172C 136-1 (US) Condemns aggression by South Africa against Angola and other African states. Dec. 17 36/172H 129-2 (US, UK) To organize an international conference of trade unions on sanctions against South Africa Dec. 17 36/172L 126-2 (US, UK) To encourage various international actions against South Africa Dec. 17 36/172N 139-1(US) Support of sanctions and other measures against South Africa Dec. 17 36/172O 138-1 (US) Cessation of further foreign investments and loans for South Africa Dec. 17 36/173 115-2 (US,Israel) Permanent sovereignty over national resources in occupied Palestine and other Arab territories Dec. 17 36/226B 121-2 (US,Israel) Non-applicability of Israeli law over the Golan Heights Dec. 18 36/234B 127-1 (US) UN accounting changes for 1980-1 1982 [only solitary US votes] Oct. 28 37/7 111-1 World Charter for protection of the ecology Nov. 15 37/11 136-1 Setting up UN conference on succession of states in respect to state property, archives, and debts Dec. 3 37/47 124-1 Appeal for universal ratification of the convention on the suppression and punishment of apartheid Dec. 9 37/69E 141-1 Promoting international mobilization against apartheid Dec. 9 37/69G 138-1 Drafting of international convention against apartheid in sports Dec. 9 37/69H 134-1 Cessation of further foreign investments and loans for South Africa Dec. 9 37/73 111-1 Need for a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty Dec. 9 37/78A 114-1 Request to US and USSR to transmit a status report on their nuclear arms negotiations [USSR abstained] Dec. 9 37/83 138-1 Prevention of arms race in outer space Dec. 10 37/94B 131-1 Support of UNESCO's efforts to promote a new world information and communications order Dec. 13 37/98A 95-1 Necessity of a convention on the prohibition of chemical and bacteriological weapons Dec. 16 37/103 113-1 Development of the principles and norms of international law relating to the new economic order Dec. 17 37/131 129-1 Measures concerning the UN Joint Staff Pension Board, including prevention of exclusion of certain UN employees Dec. 17 37/137 146-1 Protection against products harmful to health and the environment Dec. 18 37/199 131-1 Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc. are human rights Dec. 20 37/204 141-1 Motion for a review of the implementation of the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States Dec. 21 37/237/XI 132-1 Adequacy of the conference facilities of the Economic Commission for Africa at Addis Ababa Dec. 21 37/251 146-1 Development of the energy resources of developing countries Dec. 21 37/252 124-1 Restructuring international economic relations toward establishing a new international economic order 1983 Nov. 22 38/19 110-1 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid Nov. 22 38/25 131-1 The right of every state to choose its economic and social system in accord with the will of its people, without outside interference in whatever form it takes Dec. 5 38/39E 149-1 Disseminating material and organizing conferences in the campaign against apartheid Dec. 5 38/39I 140-1 Urges the Security Council to consider sanctions against South Africa as a protest against apartheid Dec. 5 38/39K 145-1 Authorizes the International Convention against Apartheid in Sports to continue its consultations Dec. 15 38/70 147-1 Outer space should be used for peaceful purposes; prevention of an arms race in outer space Dec. 16 38/124 132-1 Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc. are human rights Dec. 19 38/128 110-1 Development of the principles and norms of international law relating to the new world economic order Dec. 19 38/150 137-1 Transport and communications Decade in Africa Dec. 20 38/182 116-1 Prohibition of the development and manufacture of new types and systems of weapons of mass destruction Dec. 20 38/183M 133-1 Requests nuclear-arms States to submit to General Assembly annual reports on measures taken for prevention of nuclear war and reversing the arms race Dec. 20 38/187A 98-1 Urges intensification of negotiations to achieve an accord on a prohibition of chemical and bacteriological weapons Dec. 20 38/188G 113-1 Requests a study on the naval arms race Dec. 20 38/188H 132-1 Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues Dec. 20 38/202 126-1 Strengthening the capacity of the UN to respond to natural and other disasters 1984 [selected resolutions] Nov. 8 39/9 134-2 (US, Israel) Cooperation between the UN and the League of Arab States Nov. 16 39/14 106-2 (US, Israel) Condemns Israeli attack against Iraqi nuclear installation Nov. 23 39/21 145-1 Report of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Dec. 5 39/411 119-2 (US, UK) Reaffirming the right of St. Helena to independence Dec. 5 39/42 121-2 (US, UK) Condemns support of South Africa in its Namibian and other policies Dec. 11 39/49A 127-2 (US, Israel) Rights of the Palestinian people Dec. 11 39/49D 121-3 (US, Israel, Canada) Convening a Middle-East peace conference Dec. 12 39/62 125-1 Prohibition of development and manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction Dec. 12 39/65B 84-1 Prohibition of chemical and bacteriological weapons Dec. 13 39/72G 146-2 (US, UK) International action to eliminate apartheid Dec. 13 39/73 138-2 (US, Turkey) Law of the sea. Dec. 14 39/95A 120-2 (US, Israel) Israeli human rights violations in occupied territories Dec. 14 39/95H 143-2 (US, Israel) Condemns assassination attempts against Palestinian mayors and calls for apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators Dec. 17 39/147 94-2 (US, Israel) Condemns Israel's refusal to place its nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards Dec. 17 39/148N 123-1 Nuclear-test ban, cessation of nuclear-arms race, nuclear disarmament Dec. 17 39/151F 141-1 Request to continue UN study on military research and development Dec. 17 39/161B 143-1 Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples Dec. 18 39/224 146-2 (US, Israel) Economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people Dec. 18 39/232 118-2 (US, Israel) Support of the UN Industrial Development Organization Dec. 18 39/233 120-1 Industrial Development Decade for Africa Dec. 18 39/243 123-2 (US, Israel) Staff and administrative questions re the Economic Commission for Western Asia 1985 Dec. 13 40/114 134-1 Indivisibility and interdependence of economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights. Dec. 13 40/124 130-1 Alternative approaches within the UN system for improving the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms Dec. 13 40/148 121-2 (US, Israel) Measures to be taken against Nazi, Fascist and neo-Fascist activities. Dec. 17 40/445 133-1 International cooperation in the interrelated areas of money, finance, debt, resource flow, trade and development 1986 Oct. 27 41/11 124-1 Zone of peace and co-operation in the South Atlantic Dec. 3 41/68A 148-1 New world information order, led by UNESCO, to eliminate existing imbalances in the information and communications fields Dec. 4 41/90 126-1 Review of the Implementation of the Declaration of the Strengthening of International Security Dec. 4 41/91 117-1 Need for result-oriented political dialogue to improve the international situation Dec. 4 41/92 102-2 (US, France) Establishment of a comprehensive system of international peace and security Dec. 4 41/128 146-1 Declaration on the right to development Dec. 4 41/151 148-1 Measures to improve the situation and ensure the human rights and dignity of all migrant workers Dec. 8 41/450 146-1 Protection against products harmful to health and the environment 1987 Oct. 15 42/5 153-2 (US, Israel) Cooperation between the UN and the League of Arab States Nov. 12 42/18 94-2 (US, Israel) Need for compliance in the International Court of Justice concerning military and paramilitary activities against Nicaragua Dec. 2 42/69J 145-2 (US, Israel) Calls upon Israel to abandon plans to remove and resettle Palestinian refugees of the West Bank away from their homes and property Dec. 7 42/101 150-0-1 (US sole abstainer) A call for a "convention on the rights of the child" Dec. 7 42/159 153-2 (US, Israel) Measures to prevent international terrorism, study the underlying
political and economic causes of terrorism, convene a conference to
define terrorism and to differentiate it from the struggle of
people for national liberation Dec. 8 42/162B 140-1 Financing the training of journalists and strengthening communication services in the underdeveloped world Dec. 11 42/176 94-2 (US, Israel) Trade embargo against Nicaragua Dec. 11 42/198 154-1 Furthering international co-operation regarding the external debt problems Dec. 11 42/441 131-1 Preparation of summary records for a UN conference on Trade and Development CUBA Necessity of ending the US embargo against Cuba 1992 Nov. 24 47/19 59-2(US, Israel)* 1993 Nov. 3 48/16 88-4(US, Israel, Albania, Paraguay) 1994 Oct. 26 49/9 101-2(US, Israel) 1995 Nov. 2 117-3(US, Israel, Uzbekistan) 1996 Nov. 12 138-3(US, Israel, Uzbekistan) [For the first time, all 15 European Union countries voted yes.] 1997 143-3 (US, Israel, Uzbekistan) 1998 157-2 (US, Israel) * Romania also voted "no", by mistake. It should be remembered that for years American political leaders and media were fond of labeling Cuba an "international pariah".
Compiled by William Blum, author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II;
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