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Monday, October 04, 2010

Kotler blasts 'Human Rights Council'

Human Rights lawyer (without the scare quotes) and former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Kotler rips the United Nations 'Human Rights Council' for its abuse of human rights.
First, the council has turned a blind eye to the world's most serious human rights violators, failing to adopt any resolution or investigative mandate for such human rights violator countries as China, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Russia or Iran, to name but a few -- all being listed on Freedom House's list of the 20 worst human rights abusers. While the UN General Assembly calls for countries to be elected to the council based on their human rights records, 24 out of 47 present members (51 per cent) fail to meet fundamental standards of democracy and human rights.

Second, according to the recent 2010 UN Watch Report and Scorecard, 18 out of the 30 key council resolutions that were adopted were prejudicial and counterproductive. These included resolutions praising Sudan for its "progress"; defining any discussion of terrorism committed in the name of Islam as a form of "defamation" and "racism"; commending Sri Lanka after it killed an estimated 20,000 civilians; and refusing to hold Hamas terrorism accountable.

Third, since its 2006 creation, 80 per cent of the council's resolutions have singled out one member state -- Israel -- for differential and discriminatory treatment, thereby breaching the UN charter's foundational principle of "equality for all nations, large and small". Moreover, while the council has selectively singled out one member state, it continues to grant the major violators exculpatory immunity.

Fourth, in an appalling breach of its own principles and procedures, the UN Human Rights Council has institutionalised a permanent agenda item indicting one member state -- agenda item No 7, which speaks of "Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories" -- while agenda item No 8 speaks of "human rights violations in the rest of the world". Here is an Alice in Wonderland situation where the conviction is secured before the hearing begins.

This not only galvanises the ongoing delegitimisation, if not the demonisation, of a member state of the UN, but it provides aid and comfort to those, such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who envisage "a world without Israel", as well as those who seek to target and criminalise Israel alone as "the Jew among the nations".

What, then, can be done in light of these assaults on the UN charter and the mandate of the Human Rights Council?
What can be done? Read the whole thing - Kotler has a list of suggestions. Sadly, so long as the UN operates on the principle of one nation, one vote, I don't believe any of Kotler's suggestions will work. The good guys will always be outvoted.


At 12:39 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Carl.
Truly a breed that's threatened with extinction "honest politicians".I wish to God that more people like him were around .I salute his honesty and courage.


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