A TRIP TO THE UNITED NATIONS
I visited the UN today. We recorded and videotaped my interviews and they were really terrific people, talking about really important subjects. First – off everyone’s in charge of a high commission. This deals with a part of the world where titles matter. The most shocking thing that I learned today was something that you’ll never guess. Do you know that there are two countries that have not signed the Human Rights package of the UN. There are 195 countries and 2 have not signed this important accord. Do you want to guess what one of them was? Wait for it… You’ll never guess. The good ole US of A. Yup! Can you believe that? I find that outrageous! I’m going to start a campaign about this, I really am, because what does it mean for the United States not to have signed this. I asked “ how can that be?” And they said well the United States felt they were a country that stands for that so why sign?” What? Are you kidding? The UN is on our turf, we invest the most money into it and we didn’t sign the accord? I was absolutely aghast.
Today the UN was debating whether or not the provisions of the Human Rights acts covered Gays and Lesbians. It’s a culture war as you can imagine. There was one case filed where an person Australian claimed he was being persecuted because he was gay and the commission ruled in his favor. That started the precedent that said human rights should cover age, sex, color, creed and sexual orientation. And this is one of the reasons I like doing this, amongst all the countries and people at odds you will find that the UN has the largest concentration of optimism. It’s beautiful.
I interviewed a South African and we talked about the shadow of apartheid. I remember there was a guy here at WOR who voted at the UN for the first time for Nelson Mandela, a short time after apartheid ended in 1994. I remember he said people were crying. It was a very emotional event. I guess it was very similar to what happened in Times Square when Obama was elected. It was a party in Times Square. An “Un” drunk New years Eve! An amazing world event. The world can be a quite a big and wonderful place.