State Dept. Says with Straight Face: UN Human Rights Council ‘Once Again Took Decisive Action’ on Syria
March 25, 2013 - 12:58 pm
The State Department patted itself on the back for U.S. performance at the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council, touting “the importance of robust engagement” at the discredited panel that the Bush administration refused to join because of its membership of human-rights abusers and disproportionate resolutions against Israel.
“The United States continues to work with a diverse range of countries from all regions of the world to address urgent human rights concerns,” the fact sheet says of the opening session of America’s second term on the council.
“U.S. leadership helped to keep the Council at the forefront of international efforts to promote and protect human rights. We continue to engage strategically with the goal of making the HRC a more effective and credible multilateral forum for promoting and protecting human rights. At the same time, the Council’s biased and disproportionate focus on Israel remains a major challenge, as exemplified by the annual Item 7 resolutions.”
The State Department then rattles off its country-by-country successes at the council, including “a landmark resolution on North Korea, establishing a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate the grave and systematic violations of human rights in the DPRK” and renewing the mandate for the Special Rapporteur on Iran.
“The Council once again took decisive action regarding the crisis in Syria,” the fact sheet continues. “The Commission of Inquiry on Syria made a forceful presentation regarding the violations of international law committed by all sides, and highlighted the egregious crimes committed by the Assad regime. The Council voted to extend the mandate of the Commission for one year to investigate ongoing human rights violations in Syria.”
Also touted under actions for freedom of religion was the adoption of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation’s resolution on “combating religious intolerance, discrimination and violence.”
“This Council session was once again marred by six separate resolutions targeting Israel under the Council’s biased Agenda Item 7. The United States strongly opposed all six resolutions, including a resolution following up on the report of the Fact Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements, created at the Council last March.”