Thursday, November 18, 2004
Anti-UN sentiment growing?
This report was in the New York Post this morning:
State lawmakers have quietly agreed on a bill that would allow the United Nations to begin planning a controversial major renovation and expansion of its Manhattan headquarters, The Post has learned.
The legislation, which the state Senate is set to approve today, grants the United Nations Development Corp. permission to undertake the required environmental and land-use review processes for the project, which has drawn local opposition
It didn't get approval:
Senate suspends U.N. expansion proposal amid criticism
United Nations' request Thursday to allow the international body to expand its Manhattan building was met by an undiplomatic response from critics in Albany: Handcuff the secretary-general and move to France.
"Why this city or state would want to do anything for the U.N. is beyond me," said state Sen. Martin Golden, a Brooklyn Republican. He cited the U.N.'s oil-for-food program, which is being investigated by Congress for alleged corruption including reports that former Iraq President Saddam Hussein manipulated the $60 billion program.
"If this was Enron ... we would be taking these people out in cuffs," Golden said in an interview. He said he expects to derail the U.N. expansion project because, now that the issue is public, people will oppose the help because the United Nations has refused to join the United States in fighting the Iraq war.
Senate Majority spokesman Mark Hansen said the bill is expected to be back on the Senate floor in December. The Assembly is expected to pass the measure next month.
The United Nations Development Corp. referred questions about the Senate action to the New York City Economic Development Corp. A spokeswoman there said she didn't immediately know what the U.N. would do if the Legislature failed to approve the measure.
State Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long offered an alternative to handcuffing leaders of what he called the "corrupt" organization: "We should be considering moving the United Nations to France."
He said the U.N. "is not supportive of the United States, folded up shop when its members were attacked (in Iraq), does not pay for its support (and) is a burden to the residents of New York and the United States." The political leader said the Legislature "should be chastised for considering it."