Historical Revision at the UN

From today's Opinion Journal an interesting tibit brought to you by Claudia Rosett, our favorite observer of the UN.
This year, amid the U.N. festivities over its own 60th birthday and high-minded aims, the General Assembly was even busier than usual. So the U.N. folded Taiwan's request for equitable representation in with a new request sent over by Mr. Hsia, for the U.N. to uphold its own charter by actively promoting peace in the Taiwan Strait--which is lined on the communist side with missiles targeted on Taiwan. Red China, backed by Pakistan, opposed both items. Gambia and Chad argued for Taiwan. The U.N. allotted 24 minutes for the entire debate, and then briskly dismissed it as not worth including in the official agenda of the General Assembly.

Borrowing a page from George Orwell, the U.N. also celebrated its anniversary with a poster in the lobby of its famous but decrepit headquarters, on which it advertised a display of "Original Signatories of the U.N. charter." Except they weren't. The original signatory for China of the U.N. charter was the Republic of China. In the 2005 U.N. version, the signatory listed was "China, People's Republic of." Informed of this Turtle Bay twisting of history, Mr. Hsia wrote to U.N. Undersecretary-General Shashi Tharoor, noting, "It is hard to imagine how the U.N., perhaps the world's most important international organization and one which is widely counted on to preserve the truth, could allow itself to blatantly deviate from history and misinform the world about something so fundamental to its history."

The U.N. did not write back, says Mr. Hsia, nor did the U.N. correct the mistake. Instead, in the finest tradition of Orwell's memory hole--the poster simply vanished.

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