Top 10 Countries That Vote Most Against the U.S. at the United Nations
By Thomas P. Kilgannon
Percentages reflect how often a country votes against the U.S. position on non-consensus votes and are based on State Department statistics for votes cast in 2004, the most recent year available.
1. North Korea (96.7%)
The issue of nuclear weapons is not the only one on which the U.S. and North Korea disagree. In the last session of the General Assembly, Kim Jong-il’s government found only two occasions to reach common ground with the U.S.—and neither had anything to do with arms control.
2. Laos (95%)
When Somsavat Lengsavad, the Laotian minister of foreign affairs, spoke at the 60th session of the General Assembly, he condemned the United States for its economic embargo of Cuba, saying it is “contrary to the UN Charter and international law, and to the principle of neighborliness.” It is one of many issues with which Laos finds itself in disagreement with the U.S.
3. Iraq (94.4%)
Perhaps the newly liberated Iraqi government wanted to display a certain independence from the United States, or maybe the issues were confusing. After all, Iraq did not hold voting privileges in the General Assembly for at least five years prior to 2004. Hopefully, in the years to come, the Iraqis will throw a little gratitude our way in the General Assembly.
4. Turkmenistan (94.2%)
December 2005 is the 10th anniversary of Turkmenistan as a permanent, neutral state within the UN. President Saparmurat Nyyazow marked the occasion saying, “Turkmenistan is establishing equal relations with all states ... and neutrality is a major trend,” in the country’s foreign policy. Apparently, wholesale opposition to the U.S. is a vital component of “neutrality.”
5. Vietnam (94%)
In 2003, Vietnamese ambassador Nguyen Thanh Chau berated the U.S. for leading the liberation of Iraq. “The use of force against an independent, sovereign state and member of the United Nations,” he said, “constitutes a gross violation of the UN Charter and fundamental principles of international law.” He also called for the corrupted Oil-for-Food program to be reinstated. With such views, it will be a long time before the U.S. can normalize relations with Vietnam at the UN.
6. Congo (93.5%)
In December, Congo’s citizens will vote on a new constitution for their country that has been ravaged by war and disease. Let’s hope the people install a government that can find common ground with our democratic values more than 6.5% of the time.
7. Bhutan (92.9%)
King Jigme Wangchuck measures economic and social progress not by “Gross National Product,” but by “Gross National Happiness.” Uncle Sam’s happiness with the king is slipping as Bhutan’s opposition to the U.S. at the United Nations increases.
8. Saudi Arabia (92.8%)
The General Assembly is the madrassa of international politics, and the Saudis are as effective as any country in building opposition to U.S. policies at the UN and teaching hatred of Israel, one of America’s strongest allies.
9. Zimbabwe (92.8%)
Maybe it’s a good thing that the U.S. has little in common with a dictator like Robert Mugabe, who has confiscated farms from white landowners and has created famine in Zimbabwe, starving millions. For instituting such policies, Mugabe was the featured speaker at a recent UN conference on world hunger.
10. Cuba (92.6%)
Fidel Castro is one of the leading promoters of anti-Americanism at the UN. Each year, Cuba sponsors a resolution condemning the U.S. embargo. First introduced in 1992, only 59 countries voted with Castro. But the Clinton Administration allowed Cuba to twist arms, and today, only three countries vote with the U.S. on this issue.
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