Dismay Over New U.N. Human Rights Council
By WARREN HOGE
Published: March 11, 2007
UNITED NATIONS, March 9 — The United Nations Human Rights Council begins a three-week session in Geneva on Monday amid expressions of frustration from rights advocates at its early performance and alarm over proposals that might weaken it further.
“So far it’s been enormously disappointing, and the opponents of human rights enforcement are running circles around the proponents,” said Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch.The council was created in a 170-to-4 vote of the General Assembly a year ago to replace the Human Rights Commission, which had been widely discredited for allowing participation by countries like Sudan, Libya and Zimbabwe who used membership to prevent scrutiny of their own records.
The commission was long a major embarrassment to the United Nations, with former Secretary General Kofi Annan, who first proposed its replacement in 2005, commenting that it “cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole.”
When the 47 members of the new council were elected last March, tighter entry requirements succeeded in keeping the most notorious rights abusers off the panel, and there was some hope of less politicized behavior.But member countries from Africa and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, an association of 57 states promoting Muslim solidarity, have dashed those hopes by voting as a bloc to stymie Western efforts to direct serious attention to situations like the killings, rapes and pillage in the Darfur region of Sudan, which the United Nations has declared the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.Most notably, as happened with the commission, the council has focused its condemnation almost exclusively on Israel. It has passed eight resolutions against Israel, and the Islamic group is planning four more for the current session. The council has cited no other country for human rights violations.
[...]The United States was one of only four countries that voted against the General Assembly resolution that created the Council. The U.S. was concerned that the Council lacked the measures necessary to prevent it from repeating the worst mistakes of the Commission it was created to replace. The deplorable record of the Council has validated both the United States' concerns and its decision not to run for a seat on the Council in 2006 and in 2007.]http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/11/world/11rights.htmlU.N. Further Weakens Human Rights Council:http://www.heritage.org/Research/Internati...ions/wm1707.cfm
To use an old Texan saying -> the UN is as useful as tits on a bull so don't depend on them for any help!