28 June 2012

New Film Pulls a "Michael Moore" on the UN

A film is making its way into theaters across the US that says it exposes a corrupt and inept UN. Released in 2009, U.N. Me struggled and finally made it to the big screen (you can get it on iTunes and Google Play as well). Filmmaker Ami Horowitz has been making the media rounds for the past two years to promote the film. It seems that it has attracted a strong audience among American conservatives who dislike the UN. Horowitz has been a guest with Beck, Malkin, Varney (seen below) and others.

Overall the film seems to garner some rather mixed reviews.

The discussions and trailer seem to lead towards calling for the abandoment of the UN, but the film website looks towards reform. Namely, the flimmakers advocate for greater transparency. The suggested letter for people to send to their respective member of congress reads:
1) Demand the United Nations post a full and accurate line item budget online.

As taxpayers of the world responsible for the continued funding of the United Nations, we deserve a full and accurate assessment of how our money is being spent. Because the United Nations already has a heavy presence on the Internet, this is a cost-free distribution method that would allow any taxpayer to see how his or her funds are being spent.

2) Enact Article 6

This article declares that any member state that persistently violates the tenets of the UN Charter should have its membership revoked. From North Korea’s continued flaunting of the United Nations to Sudan’s participation in mass atrocities, there are many candidate member states that have persistently violated the principles of the Charter. To demonstrate that the United Nations has a standard when it comes to the make up of its membership would go a long way toward re-establishing its credibility.

The organization too often prefers opacity to transparency, and only continues functioning thanks to the taxpayers of the world. It is through the financing of the UN that we can institute accountability.
It is possible that the filmmakers understand that enacting Article 6 would cause major problems and they hope that further transparency will expose further corruption in the UN. Though it is hard to tell much without having seen the movie or hear from the filmmakers.

I'm going to try to see the film in the next few weeks and try to get a hold of Horowitz to talk further about the documentary. The UN is naturally not too happy with the film. A statement from the UN read during a segment on Morning Joe says the film is full of errors and mis-characterizations.

Has anyone seen or heard of this film? Drop a line in the comments or email me if you have any reactions to the film.

Here is another taste of the film. The clip looks into UNRWA supporting terrorism.