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The colossal failure of the UN Human Rights Council

Filed under: United Nations

Foreign Policy's Passport blog has a post up about how the UN Human Rights Council has become a complete joke, a shadow of its supposed ideals. It writes about latest developments this week in Geneva:
In Geneva this week, any pretense of utility or fairness that clung to the United Nations Human Rights Council finally evaporated. By a decisive margin, the Council voted to end its examination of Iran and Uzbekistan despite worsening human rights records in both countries. Japan, South Korea, and Brazil were surprising votes in favor of the free passes; they had been supported more predictably by Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and Azerbaijan.
Ironic given that Iran and Uzbekistan are perhaps some of the worst human rights violators in the world. Could Amnesty International possibly have been wrong when it declared "a new beginning for human rights" back in May 2006? No, it's a new beginning alright. It's an era of greater protection for human rights violators and back-patting for the insane leftists who supported its creation! Everyone wins! (Except the victims, but who are they, really?) In nearly a year, here is a brief list of some of the Human Rights Council's greatest accomplishemnts:
  • Successfully condemned one country only, Israel.
  • Repeat the above seven more times.
  • Voted on June 30, 2006, to review Israeli human rights abuses at every council session.
  • While investigating the Israeli-Hezbollah war, it announced that, "the Commission is not entitled, even if it had wished, to construe [its charter] as equally authorizing the investigation of the actions by Hezbollah in Israel." No bias here.
  • Cuba is mounting a campaign to eliminate the council's ability to even investigate human rights.

And that's just some of them, but you can see the single-mindedness and uselessness of it all. Even the Human Rights Watch people are having to admit that their early optimism was clearly misplaced as best. Human rights isn't an issue that can be politicized and decided upon in the context of regional and despotic politics. But even when the council's democratic members don't stand up for them, all hope is lost.

Human rights are black-and-white. Only when a system based on objectivity and professionalism is put into place can a human rights council have any purpose other than making things worse.

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