Next week's Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Tehran has already raised eyebrows (and concerns).
First of all, Iran is snubbing its nose at the UN and the US when it comes to its nuclear weapons program: the country has literally gone rogue with its nuclear ambitions. For this reason alone, Iran ought not be allowed to hold a summit. The U.S. has made this clear.
And secondly, the summit is providing Iran an opportunity to strengthen relations with markedly Islamist factions and other nations that have gone rogue with their nuclear ambitions as well. For example, the summit will mark the first attempt at normalized relations between Egypt and Iran in decades, as Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi travels to Tehran for the meeting. And it will mark what could also be an attempt at stronger ties between North Korea and Iran, as North Korean President Kim Jong Un travels to the summit in Tehran next week.
With these things considered, it is unconscionable that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is heading to the summit in Tehran as well, but he is.
If ever there were justification for looking at the UN as an international body whose time has come and gone, perhaps this is it. For although Iran stands in violation of UN demands regarding its nuclear program, regularly breathes threats against Israel, violates human rights without so much as an ounce of concern, and is currently trying to strengthen relations with countries that share many of its worst ambitions, the Secretary-General of the UN will be adding legitimacy to the summit in Tehran by attending next week.
What legitimate or necessary purpose does the UN serve?