Friday, June 29, 2007

hrc's a joke

we are finally live again, and we have a new feature - and a guest blogger! this is our human rights correspondent Jeremy Taylor. below, his commentary from last night.

The United Nations was created to protect and advance human rights. UN member states pledge to uphold the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights, but the UN’s record on it’s own human rights declarations is a disgrace. UN protects mass murderers. It’s sickening.
Yes the UN does good things, though; UNICEF, World Food Program, World Bank, WTO, WHO, I can name 60 ways the UN is trying to make a difference, I’m specifically talking about is the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council both of’em a disgrace.
A year ago the UN’s General Assembly created The Human Rights Council to replace the Human Rights commission, which was discredited for allowing participation of countries that are flagrant human rights abusers themselves, Libya, Algeria, Syria, Sudan, Zimbabwe,Vietnam, Cuba, all in no position to judge the human-rights performance of other nations then use their membership to prevent scrutiny of their own records.
The old Human Rights Commission (now called council, they changed the word from commission to council) it’s the same old bad wine, just in a new bottle. The council is new, but its deliberations have already fallen into a failed pattern. When it comes to the world’s worst human rights violators, China, Iran, North Korea, Myanmar and Sudan, there’s a tendency to silence the critics.
The Security Council China, Russia, America, England, France where the West has a larger voice, has done nothing to end the genocide in Darfur, have done nothing to end the misery and suffering in places like Zimbabwe and North Korea.
The rules adopted for the new HRC have no criteria for membership other than geographical representation so it’s still open to the world’s worst human rights abusers. Not even states under U.N. sanctions can be excluded.
And while the HRC is charged with conducting human-rights reviews, even its official findings don’t prevent human-rights violators from winning seats. If a Human Rights Council review finds serious human-rights abuses, neither the council nor the General Assembly is required to take punitive action.
Other HRC members include Saudi Arabia where women’s rights are nonexistent, Pakistan, where sentences include stoning and judicial gang-rape. Libya served as chairman in 2003, despite its ties to terrorism like the Lockerbie bombing and brutual represion at home. In 2004 Sudan, a government engaged in ongoing genocide in Darfur won a seat on the HRC. I’m soory, it’s a fucking disgrace. I’m mad as hell, ain’t taking it anymore. Had it up to here.
Other HRC members like China and Russia, who not only stifle the rights of their own citizens, but also use their clout to defend the indefensible behavior of allies like Uzbekistan and Sudan.
China protects Sudan in the HRC and allows Sudan to continue it’s genocide in Darfur.
China’s underwriting the genocide in Darfur. China obstructs the HRC from helping the people in Darfur, China obstructs HRC from helping the people in North Korea, China obstructs HRC from helping the people in Burma, China and the HRC obstructs helping the poor people in Zimbabwe.
HRC is an oxymoron. It’s doing the opposite of what it’s guiding philosphy and core principle’s is intended to do. Bodies like the HRC are bound to fail. We should accept that the United Nations lacks the moral authority to defend the principles in its own landmark universal declarations on human rights. In the absence of leadership, the U.N. is not capable of acting.
The United States voted against creating the HRC last year because we knew that the new body wouldn’t be an improvement over the commission.
Among those voted onto the HRC were nine countries ranked “not free” in political & civil liberties by Freedom House: Algeria, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. And like its predecessor, the council lives for Israel bashing. The council focuses it’s condemnation exclusively on Israel.
So far, all eight of the condemnations of human rights performance the HRC has issued since its creation in June 2006 have been against one country, Israel and the Islamic group is planning four more for the current session. The HRC has cited no other country for human rights violations.
Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, told the US House Foreign Affairs Committee that the Human Rights Council “spent the entire year slamming Israel, but not against Burma and not against Zimbabwe and not against North Korea and not against Iran.”
- Jeremy Taylor

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