Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

The United Nations Human Rights Commission was criticised for, among its many failings, being composed of countries with truly dreadful records on human rights. It was almost as though they were there to prevent their records from being scrutinised.

So now there is a United Nations Human Rights Council instead. A completely different organisation. Except that it includes China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia and Saudi Arabia. OK, a slightly different organisation. It's got a different name, at least.

We should be grateful that Sudan, Zimbabwe and Syria did not stand. And presumably the United States government was keen to avoid further international scrutiny of its human rights blind spot in Guantanamo Bay and the rest of its counter-terrorist "Gulag".

But maybe it will do better than its predecessor. We can always hope... Certainly we should watch!


Flaming Firegeni said...

Wellll as you point out the USA can truly compete for a high place among human rights violation clan. Not that they care.

Another euphemism comes to mind! "Human rights" = do not be found out. ie. "have your torture chambers out of public sight, and make sure you talk a lot about democracy, human rights and justice while you tuck your little hideaway gulags in some remote backwater".

I am not sure that I prefer those who violate human rights for the world to see, as opposed to those who sing songs of democracy and freedom while they do exactly the same.

(Firegenie scurries for cover before machine gun fire is unleashed from Notmyopinion who generally has very pointed opinions).

(btw - have you ever considered the fact that the name "notmyopinion" is grossly inaccurate for someone who has opinions that can fire artillery for miles)

Monique said...

ahhh the UN. I have a special saddness for the shortcomings of this agency. For one, it began with one of my favourite Canadian Prime Ministers: Lester B. Pearson; secondly, as a proud Canadian my government consistenly embarrasses this great country with its hypocrisy.

Canada proposed the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) to release certain nations from the crushing pandemic of HIV/AIDS. Member countries of the UN agreed to give 0.7% of their gross national surplus profits to the MDG fund. Canada is the author of this promise. Eveyone knows that. Canada is the only G8 country with successive and continuing budgetary surpluses. And our minister of finance, as a member of Blair's Commission on Africa, endorsed the target of 0.7% by 2015. It was the central recommendation of the commission report. How do you sign the report and then repudiate it upon you return to Canada? It's perverse; it lack integrity. Everyone on the international scene thinks it's the height of hypocrisy to propound the policy and then fail to meet it.

sorry for the long comment dude (& I constrained myself), you struck a nerve...