The UN Charter's Preamble states:
"WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED
-- to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
-- to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
-- to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
-- to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom...."
The body affirms international support for tolerance, peace and security, and resolve to promote universal economic and social advancement.
However, since its 1945 founding, it's failed on all counts, even though some of its agencies (like UNICEF, WFP, UNHCR and UNESCO) at times provide aid in areas of health, education, food assistance, refugees, social development and more.
It's never enough though, timely, or with resolve to support troubled people adequately in times of need.
Moreover, global wars raged every year post-WW II to the present. The UN's been unable or disinterested in stopping them. One of its fatal flaws is structure, hamstrung by its dominant member, America. It can and does veto measures other member states support, notably when contrary to its imperial interests.
As a result, no action was taken when Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975. Hundreds of thousands were slaughtered in a secretly US-authorized aggression. Its TNI forces were armed, funded and supported by Washington.
In 1999, it was impotent again after East Timor voted for independence, after which TNI forces attacked and slaughtered thousands more.
During South Africa's border wars and invasion of Namibia in the 1960s and 70s, it was sidelined, as well as during a 36-year Guatemala state-sponsored genocide against its indigenous Mayan majority, following the CIA's ouster of democratically elected Jacobo Arbenz Guzman.
Dozens of other examples reveal a dismal record of failure and betrayal of its high-sounding principles and mandate to enforce them. It didn't earlier or now, including by deploying Blue Helmets as peacekeepers.
In fact, they're hostile occupiers, serving imperial interests in Haiti, South Lebanon, Rwanda, Kosovo, Bosnia, DRC Congo, Sudan, Somalia, various other countries, and its initial UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) since 1948, failing to bring peace to Palestine. Yet it's still there, performing no active role, opposing the interests of people they're sworn to protect.
During his tenure as Secretary-General, Kofi Annan (January 1, 1997 - December 31, 2006) was little more than an imperial tool, never achieving or working for peace anywhere.
He never condemned or acted to end the devastating economic sanctions against Iraqis that killed up to 1.5 million defenseless men, women and children.
He didn't use his mandate to denounce Washington's lawless 2003 war. No matter that it's based on lies to permit slaughtering hundreds of thousands more and be able to plunder another occupied country.
He was silent while war raged in Afghanistan and still does without end.
He backed or failed to act against Israel's illegal occupation, its worst crimes against Palestine, and its illegal 2006 Lebanon war.
He took no action to denounce Washington's failed attempts to oust Hugo Chavez, and showed a disturbing indifference to the pain and suffering of his own people throughout the continent of his birth.
Instead, he dutifully served Washington, other dominant powers, and corporate predation of Africa's riches and elsewhere.
His entire tenure was a testimony to failure and betrayal. So is Ban Ki-moon's since becoming Secretary-General on January 1, 2007. Ever since, he's been a co-conspirator in war crimes and other abuses.
In fact, one of his first acts was to reverse the UN's longstanding opposition to capital punishment. It's a barbaric practice often sentencing innocent people to death, notably in America.
At the time, he dismissively said whether or not to enforce it "is for each and every member State to decide," instead of forthrightly condemning it.
Nor did his restructuring plan address the Security Council's illegitimate veto power, giving one nation like America authority over all others. It's abused the practice ever since.
Instead, it's high time the body reflected majority rule, giving all nations equal say on issues affecting everyone. Ban's overall silence, inaction, and support for wrong over right speak volumes.
In fact, despite its own often deplorable record, Human Rights Watch (HRW) acknowledged Ban's shamelessness. Its "World Report 2011: A Facade of Action" included criticism of his "quiet diplomacy facade of (in)action" for not taking forceful steps when needed.
HRW's executive director Kenneth Roth criticized his "use of dialogue and cooperation in lieu of public pressure....on abusive governments," notably America and its imperial partners.
In fact, said Roth, "(f)ar from condemning repression, Ban sometimes (goes) out of his way to portray repressive governments in a positive light."
He meant third world despots, not the world's leading human rights abuser, waging lawless imperial wars and engaging in other scandalous actions.
In response, Ban's office disagreed, despite clear evidence of his complicity in grievous crimes of war and against humanity by indifference, silence, and support for Western aggression. Putting lipstick on that pig doesn't wash.
Nor have his spineless measures protected whistleblowers or prevented peacekeeper killings, rape, sexual exploitation, corruption and other crimes.
In addition, he hasn't defended human rights or condemned violations against them, notably by Western countries. Nor has he denounced aggressive wars and other lawless acts.
How can he when he supports them, including Washington's ouster of democratically elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on June 28, 2009.
Or the Obama administration's militarization of Haiti and complicity in rigging the electoral process to install stealth Duvalierist Michel ("Sweet Micky) Martelly, an anti-populist former Kompa singer supporter of powerful corrupt corporatist interests.
Moreover, Ban backed regime change in Ivory Coast. He authorized a lawless French-backed military operation against Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, killing hundreds of civilians.
He also echoed Washington's call for Gaddafi's ouster, saying he lost all legitimacy. At the same time, he backs cutthroat rebel paramilitaries, and supports lawless air strikes.
They've laid waste to large parts of Libya and still do, killing and injuring tens of thousands. They also transformed Libya into a charnel house human rights disaster.
Instead of condemning, stopping, or preventing wars, he authorized and cheerled them, betraying his mandate to support peace and human rights.
Shamelessly serving Israel, not Palestine, he caused great harm in the process, including besieged Gaza denied flotilla aid from arriving.
He even petitioned world leaders to back Israel's demand to direct what it permits "through legitimate crossings and established channels" to prevent vital aid getting through or enough of it.
By appointing his own commission to investigate Israel's May 2010 Mavi Marmara massacre, he tried to whitewash his own Human Rights Council's condemnation, as well as independent ones denouncing Israel's cold-blooded murder of nine civilians and injuring dozens more in international waters.
These were high crimes - piracy he should have forthrightly condemned, but he didn't. Instead, he dutifully paid homage to Israel as he always does.
Despite representing 193 member states, Ban only serves Washington, Israel, and other dominant powers. He thumbs his nose at the rest, including majority General Assembly positions on numerous human rights and other vital issues.
In other words, in derogation of his sworn mandate, he solely represents dominant interests. Notably they're those of Washington, Israel, and their imperial partners, ravaging targeted countries to carve up their corpses for profit.
As a result, he shares culpability with lawless predator states, harming billions worldwide by his contempt for human rights. In fact, the very notion's not in his vocabulary, let alone concern for people in dire need.
They're on their own because Ban won't observe his sworn mandate to help them. It's a testimony to his deplorable record.
It's appalling enough to have earned him a second term last June, representing wealth and power for another five years at the expense of billions worldwide he scorns.
It's the mettle of a failed Secretary-General, a legacy history won't let him forget or expunge.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.