By Robin Simcox, 14th April 2008
1. The United Nations Human Rights Council is in danger of losing all credibility. The recent appointments of Jean Ziegler and Richard Falk are especially worrying.
2. Human rights abuses are happening all over the world, yet there is an unfortunate obsession with Israeli actions, which is the only country the UNHRC has directed resolutions against.
3. 2009 will see Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Jordan and Russia on the UNHRC. This fact alone shows that the UNHRC is no better than the UN High Commission of Human Rights, the organisation it succeeded.
4. With Britain taking its place on the council this year, we have a chance to redress the balance, highlight human rights abuses by some of the worst offenders, and push for reform. Only by doing this is there a chance for the UNHRC to regain any credibility.
When explaining the reluctance of the United States to support replacing the UN High Commission of Human Rights with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), then ambassador to the UN John Bolton said “[w]e want a butterfly. We don’t intend to put lipstick on a caterpillar and call it a success.” In hindsight, Bolton was being too optimistic. Recent events have shown that those who helped put the UNHRC in place were actually fresh out of Rimmel.
[read it all here]