According to Alan Dershowitz, they have a poor record vis a vis terrorism.
For more than a quarter of a century, the U.N. has actively encouraged terrorism by rewarding its primary practitioners, legitimating it as a tactic, condemning its victims when they try to defend themselves and describing the murderers of innocent children as "freedom fighters." No organization in the world today has accorded so much legitimacy to terrorism as has the U.N.
Consider the following:
• There are numerous occupied peoples around the world seeking statehood or national liberation, including the Tibetans, Kurds, Turkish Armenians and Palestinians. Only one of these groups has received official recognition by the U.N., including observer status and invitations to speak and participate in committee work. That group is the one that invented and perfected modern international terrorism — namely, the Palestinians...
These rewards were first bestowed in the 1970s when the Palestine Liberation Organization was unabashedly committed to terrorism. In fact, Chairman Yasser Arafat was invited to speak to the U.N. General Assembly in 1974 at a time when his organization was seeking to destroy a member-state of the U.N. by terrorism.
By rewarding Arafat and the PLO for such behavior, the U.N. made it clear that the best way to ensure that your cause is leapfrogged ahead of others is to adopt terrorism as your primary means of protest. The Tibetans, whose land has been occupied more brutally and for a longer period than the Palestinians, but who have never practiced terrorism, cannot even receive a hearing from the U.N.
• The U.N. has for years refused to condemn terrorism unequivocally, while encouraging and upholding "the legitimacy of the struggle for national liberation movements" against "occupation" — in other words, the use of terrorism against innocent civilians to resist occupation. This has sent the message to aggrieved groups that terrorism is legitimate.
• The U.N. has allowed Palestinian terrorists to use U.N.-sponsored "refugee camps" like Jenin as terrorist bases. This has sent the message to the world that the U.N. closes its eyes to terrorism.
• The U.N. has repeatedly condemned efforts by Israel to prevent and respond to terrorism. For example, the Security Council condemned Israel for isolating Arafat in the West Bank last year, even after it was proved that Arafat remained complicit in acts of terrorism.
This has sent the message to the victims of terrorism that if they fight back they risk sanctions.
• The U.N. has allowed states such as Syria that sponsor terrorism to sit on the Security Council and to chair important committees, while denying Israel these same rights. This has sent the message that the U.N. applies a double standard when it comes to terrorism.
The bottom line is that the U.N. has served as an international megaphone for the perverse message that any people who feel that they are occupied have the right to resist occupation by randomly murdering innocent civilians anywhere in the world.
And Jed Babbin sees it this way:
In Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz confirmed that, "Among the hundreds of enemy that we have captured in the last months are more than 200 foreign terrorists who came to Iraq to kill Americans." Wolfowitz understands what Powell and Armitage don't: Iraq is now the central battle in the war against terrorism, and to give control of Iraq to the U.N. will result in our defeat in Iraq because the U.N. is not committed to the defeat of terrorism. Many terrorist states — Iran, Syria, Libya, and North Korea, among others — are members in good standing. They and their sympathizers are able to control U.N. action.
Even if we got a U.N. resolution providing troops and funding — which by now only Powell and Armitage don't understand that we cannot — just what could the U.N. do to help? We don't need more troops on the ground — as Gen. Abizaid has said often enough — and the major nations of the U.N. don't have much to offer even if we did. The French and Germans are already overextended, and have little to offer other than administrators and shopkeepers to ensure that Total Fina Elf and Siemans get the chunk of Iraqi business Saddam had promised them. The French could send the Foreign Legion, by all reports capable fighters and also some of the most familiar with the torture of prisoners and abuse of civilians. They are an excellent means of turning the average Iraqi against us.