United States, Britain see the UN as useless, says Mandela

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela has said that the United States and Britain have contempt for the United Nations.
In an interview published Wednesday by Newsweek, Mandela says many people have the opinion that the two big powers do not respect the United Nations.
He says there is a racial element in their attitude.
"In fact, many people say quietly, but they don't have the courage to stand up and say publicly, that when there were white secretary generals you didn't find this question of the United States and Britain going out of the United Nations.
"But now that you've had black secretary generals like Boutros Boutros Ghali, like Kofi Annan, they do not respect the United Nations.
They have contempt for it.
This is not my view, but that is what is being said by many people," Mandela is quoted by the weekly magazine as saying.
On charges that Iraq was manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, Mandela says neither President George W.
Bush nor [British Prime Minister] Tony Blair has provided any evidence that such weapons exist.
"But what we know is that Israel has weapons of mass destruction.
Nobody talks about that.
Why should there be one standard for one country, especially because it is black, and another one for another country, Israel, that is white.
" According to Mandela, the United States of America is a threat to world peace.
He says the US has made serious mistakes in the conduct of its foreign affairs, which have had unfortunate repercussions long after the decisions were taken.
On Thursday, President Bush will address the UN General Assembly and point to what he claims is evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and President Saddam Hussein's efforts to build nuclear weapons.
In order to avoid confrontation over Iraq, Mandela has suggested that the United States and Britain should resort to the United Nations.
"If the United States and Britain go to the United Nations and the United Nations says we have concrete evidence of the existence of these weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and we feel that we must do something about it, we would all support it," he said.

11 september 2002 22:36:00

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