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The Rosett Report

Groundhog Day at the UN Human Rights Council

July 9th, 2013 - 11:54 pm

Yes, folks, it’s about time for the United Nations to produce its next slate of candidates for election to 14 of the 47 member seats on the UN’s Geneva-based Human Rights Council. Not that the UN seems in a hurry to advertise the candidates, but Geneva-based UN Watch has the scoop. So, guess who’s in the running…

A) Cuba

B) Saudi Arabia

C) China

D) Russia

E) Chad

F) Vietnam

G) All of the Above (plus maybe Syria and Iran, though these have yet to be confirmed)

A no-brainer, I know. It’s obviously G, and in the spirit of the UN brand of human rights diversity, we might well ask what kind of bigotry is at work that the UN has failed to flatter North Korea with a place on this list. Of course, there are other candidates as well. Countries such as France, the UK, Latvia, Mexico and Morocco are also among the contenders. And in an election process that allocates seats by quota to regional groups, there are actually more candidates than seats for some of the regions — meaning that when the General Assembly votes on these candidates this November, there will actually be a bit of competition.

But it’s a good bet that some of the human rights abusers listed above will end up on the council. Even for those who don’t win seats, the UN’s mechanisms provide a wealth of opportunities to weigh in as erstwhile authorities on human rights, regardless of what’s going on back home in the dungeons, the gulag… or perhaps in Evin prison. Here’s a choice example of UN Human Rights Council deliberations: Iran weighing in at the Human Rights Council just two months ago to praise — of course — Cuba “for its real commitment to human rights.” (Iran Statement on Cuba — UN Human Rights Council — May 2013 ).

Can this be fixed? Actually, the current Human Rights Council was supposed to be the fix, created in 2006 to replace the utterly discredited former Commission on Human Rights, which fell prey to the same ills — a rot that reached its apotheosis in 2003, when Qaddafi’s Libya was chosen to preside. The basic flaws were not fixed. Though some candidates may be defeated by dogged campaigns, the fundamental design of the UN Human Rights Council means that human rights abusers will continue to infest the Council. The basic problem is a UN system which for purposes of rights and privileges of member states draws no distinction between free countries and the world’s worst despotisms. For instance, Iran, despite being under UN Security Council sanctions, can sit on the executive boards of the UN flagship agency, the UN Development Program, or UNICEF (actually, it sits on both), and though reasonable people might find that nuts, at the UN it is received as normal practice.

At the Human Rights Council, this UN Setup translates over and over into the monstrous absurdity that the worst human rights abusers are received as qualified to pronounce judgment on human rights, and — courtesy in particular of U.S. tax dollars — given a world stage to do so. They buddy up, praise each other, condemn the democracies they fear … and out of this process come such travesties as the Goldstone Report (savaging Israel) and the appointment of Special Rapporteur Richard Falk (savaging Israel, and blaming the Boston marathon bombing on the U.S.).

What to do? In an ideal world, the U.S. would either find a way to pull the plug on the entire enterprise, or at least move it to Novosibirsk — further from Swiss banks and jewelry shopping, and closer to irrelevance. At the very least, the U.S. could walk away. Nothing like that looks likely to happen anytime soon. But if there is a solution to be found, it probably begins with recognizing that the UN Human Rights Council is not designed to protect human rights. It is designed to provide rotating seats, and credentials that its democratic members don’t need, and the rest of its members don’t deserve.

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All Comments   (12)
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my buddy's step-mother makes $64/hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for eight months but last month her pay was $12386 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site... www.Can99.com
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
my neighbor's step-mother makes $89/hr on the internet. She has been fired from work for 9 months but last month her check was $17981 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more... www.Can99.com
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think if New Yorkers have a positive image of the UN, they must be or have a relative working for it.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
FERAL CAT: It could be worse; what if the IRS were included? Someone should research "the Americans" who participated in its founding. ...and the US should leave ASAP. I picture the headquarters in one of those countries named to the HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
what James implied I'm in shock that you able to make $7966 in four weeks on the internet. did you read this web page... www.Can99.com
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
My idea of the deepest pits of Hell would be to have the UN and the NSA merge.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
And if the words "National Security" make you immediately conjure up nations like Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China and Vietnam, and the old communist East Germany, and the old USSR, you might just be cut out to work at the NSA.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
What's amazing is that in the media capitol of the US -- New York -- the UN gets so little coverage that most people actually have a positive image of it.

Claudia, I wish you would do a 'man-on-the-street' interview in front of the UN asking people if they know some of the info you report on. I think the reactions will be hilarious because no average New Yorker knows the kind of crap that's going on there . And if, by chance, you happen to interview a diplomatic, the technocrat double-speak will no doubt also be amusing.

Actually, if you go global, there's a documentary in this.

40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
BTW: Tourists are always fun when interviewed.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rather than worry about what other countries do, why don't we try to set an example for the rest of the world? Fix our problems at home.

Instead, we have more people in prison than anyone else. Far more than supposed police states.

We have police that are armed better than most countries militaries. They kill with impunity, too. Not a week goes by without some story about police misconduct, usually with deadly results. And don't get me started on dog shootings.

We have political prisoners like the Mohammed video guy. We have people in jail for stupid things like "terroristic threats", when actually they just said something stupid online. We are hysterical about children, drugging them when they act up, arresting them with they do anything vaguely involving a gun, pretend or not. Cookie that looks like a gun? Arrest them. NRA T-shirt? Arrest them.

We have the IRS targeting people because of political beliefs

We have the NSA gathering data on US citizens without warrants.

In many places, police stop people at checkpoints and shake them down
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
We should actually be on that God forsaken list now.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
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