The United Nations has an abysmal record on preserving press freedom, regularly blocking access to its meetings and instigating vendettas against journalists, according to an opinion piece in the Philadelphia Daily News by David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (www.protectingtaxpayers.org).
Williams put forward as an example the first two days of the UN-funded 2014 Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control during which the public was ejected and the press had their event credentials revoked.
And last year, he added, a journalist, Drew Johnson, was forcibly removed from the 2016 CoP meeting in India for violating the continued ban on press presence.
‘This hostility toward journalism perpetuates a culture of secrecy, and keeps respected press freedom groups from monitoring the organization,’ Williams wrote.
Later in his piece, Williams said that while advocates of global security saw the UN as a necessary deterrent to conflict around the globe, the majority of US dollars provided to the organization went to non-security budget items.
‘Initiatives such as the tobacco-control treaty receive the lion’s share of the funding, and push ineffective programs that encroach on national sovereignty,’ he said.
‘The United Nations’ tobacco-control regime has advocated tirelessly for greater tobacco taxation, a regressive policy that studies show has the unintended consequence of promoting less healthy products.
‘Additionally, UN policy promotions are often unworkable and devoid of priority. In the midst of a raging civil war, the World Health Organization has recently pushed the Syrian government to reduce smoking rates in its country.
‘This is a clear indication that the United Nations is out of touch with what’s important…’
Williams’ piece is at: http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20170109_Commentary__Rein_in_the_United_Nations.html
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