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The Rosett Report

“Winners” at the UN Human Rights Council

May 12th, 2009 - 10:43 pm

It’s official. In Tuesday’s vote by the UN General Assembly, the U.S. was elected to the UN Human Rights Council. Among the other winners of the 18 seats up for grabs this year, mostly uncontested, were Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba, Russia, Cameroon… you get the idea.

It’s obvious at a glance that something’s very wrong with this picture, in which the U.S. will now dignify (and help bankroll) with its presence some of the world’s worst human rights abusers. But for a more specific idea of how this perverse process plays out, check out the story from China’s Xinhua state news agency, announcing China’s “re-election victory,” in which Beijing — one of the world capitals of human rights abuses — won a second three-year term on the 47 member Human Rights Council, pulling in from the 192 member General Assembly the whopping total of “167 favorable votes.”

That says plenty about the perverse nature of entire UN. The votes were cast by secret ballot, so there’s no information available from the UN on which countries were among the 167 member states that chose to support China as an authority on human rights. But whoever they were, Beijing has seized on their support to trumpet that “China contributed to the institution building of the Council,” that China is “one of 26 countries that have responded to the United Nations’ call to establish a human rights plan since 1993,” and that “Since China was elected as a founding member of the Council in 2006, it has made remarkable achievements in the field of human rights… ”

Human rights? More like UN-bestowed propaganda rights. Here’s the latest report from New York-based Freedom House, in which China and Saudi Arabia rank among the world’s 17 most repressive regimes, and one of the other winners in Tuesday’s UN vote – Cuba — ranks among the eight “Worst of the Worst.”

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