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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Iran withdrawing bid for 'Human Rights Council' seat

The UN 'Human Rights Council' will spare itself one indignity. Iran is withdrawing its bid for a seat on the Council.
It has been rumored that western states mounted an aggressive behind the scenes campaign against Iran's membership bid in the body, which has been frequently scorned by American conservatives for having so many notorious human rights abusers among its members.


The issue of notorious human rights abusers sitting in judgment of others on UN human rights bodies has been a source of consternation for decades. The 2003 election of Libya to the chairmanship of the Human Rights Council's predecessor body, the UN Commission on Human Rights, was a key factor driving the push to abolish the Commission in favor of the new Council in 2005.

The failure of Iran's bid, after aggressive lobbying in New York, African capitals (Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in Zimbabwe this week), and elsewhere, is "a big embarrassment for them," the official continued. It "seems to be a mark of their isolation and broad distaste for their human rights record."

Iran's bid to be a member of the UN rights body was strongly opposed by Iranian and global human rights activists, including by Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi who wrote a letter opposing Tehran's bid.

"It's a step in the right direction for countries to take into account candidates' human rights records in deciding who to support for the Council," said Suzanne Nossel, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs.
A very small step. A bigger step would be taking Israel off the agenda for a while. But don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.


At 8:36 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Its one small victory. But the UN's one sided obsession with Israel is not going to disappear any time soon.

At 11:13 PM, Blogger Moriah said...

Shocking they didn't get it - would not even be surprised in the world we live in..


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