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The UN File: Let Us Now Thank Sudan

Sudan's regime is not, as a rule, a venture that inspires thank you notes. Sudan is a sinkhole of repression, violence, and even slavery. Its president, Omar al-Bashir, is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide. Its security forces are notorious for arbitrary arrests, rape, and torture, which, as the U.S. State Department notes, they usually commit with impunity. And, courtesy of Amnesty International, you can read here about the case of 23-year-old Layla Ibrahim Issa Jumul, who just last month, convicted in Sudan of adultery, was sentenced to be stoned to death.

Now, as UN Watch notes, "It's Official: Genocidal Sudan Running Uncontested for U.N. Human Rights Council Seat." Word of this, first reported by UN Watch, had been circulating for weeks. The UN General Assembly, which oversees the Human Rights Council, and votes on who fills these seats, had coyly refrained until this past week from posting Sudan's candidacy on the web site for the Human Rights Council elections. But here it is, the official site, where Sudan now shows up as one of five African nations running for five seats allotted in this election to Africa. In other words, Sudan's run is uncontested. Unless competition materializes before the election takes place this November, it's highly likely that Sudan will win a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.

That's an outrage, rightly condemned as such. It's an abomination that the government of Sudan might be seated on any council presumed to be associated with human rights.

It's also how the UN system works. This is the default mode. Never mind such distractions as genuine human rights. At the UN, tyrannies and democracies all enjoy equal rights -- to votes in the General Assembly, and seats and posts within the UN empire of commissions, councils, programs, funds, and organizations. TheĀ old UN Commission on Human Rights was "reformed" in 2006 precisely because it had utterly discredited itself -- devoting most of its energies to the anti-Semitic exercise of condemning democratic Israel, while serving as a nest for some of the world's worst regimes -- including Sudan. Here we go again.