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Thursday, June 21, 2012

The biggest human rights issue in the world?

The United Nations 'human rights council' opened its latest round of meetings this week, and 'human rights commissioner Navi Pillay focused the council on that serial human rights violator... Canada?
The only human rights issue Pillay described as “alarming” were “moves to restrict freedom of assembly,” and the only alarming instance she could summon up were restrictions in Quebec. The only issue about which she said she was “disappointed” was the law in Quebec. And the only specific concern she had with the violation of “freedom of association” anywhere the world over was in Quebec.
Does Pillay not get it or does she not want to get it? Anne Bayefsky explains.
Perhaps most troubling about Pillay’s action was the total failure of the UN’s top human rights expert to acknowledge the essential distinction between democracies and non-democracies. The Quebec law has been challenged in a court system characterized by an independent judiciary that will ultimately determine its legality. Though the difference between the Canadas and the Syrias of this world could not be more basic, a twisted concept of even-handedness drives UN outcomes.
Don't expect it to get any better. Here's a look at what's on the agenda.
The 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council opened a 3-week session yesterday. According to the official schedule, next week on June 27th the council will hold a 90-minute debate on Syria, possibly featuring Kofi Annan. The following week, on July 2nd, the council will feature an entire day on alleged violations in the "Occupied Palestinan Territory (OPT)," featuring Richard Falk, the council expert on Palestine who was condemned last year by Ban Ki-Moon for promoting 9/11 conspiracies. UN Watch will take the floor several times during the session to speak up for victims of the world's most abusive regimes, and to hold the U.N. acountable to the principles of its charter.
Hopefully, one of the first actions of a Romney administration's foreign policy will be to withdraw from and defund the 'human rights council.' In fact, if they do that with the entire United Nations, that would be even better.

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