Wednesday, June 20, 2007

 

The Moral Leadership that is the UN

From the You-Can't make-This-Stuff-Up Department:

“Cuba hailed on Wednesday a decision by the new United Nations human rights watchdog to drop the communist nation from a list of countries with poor rights records, calling it a major diplomatic victory over its longtime ideological foe the United States.”
Cuba sees U.N. rights body's move as triumph over U.S.

But don’t worry; they’re not going totally soft up there at Turtle Bay:

Members of the U.N.'s new human rights watchdog formally agreed Tuesday to continue their scrutiny of Israel while halting investigations into Cuba and Belarus — a move that immediately drew fire from the United States.” U.N. rights council adopts reforms

See also: UN Human Rights Council agrees to details for reviewing countries. That is from the UN News Service report and it leaves out this salient point:

“TERRY CORMIER (Canada) said in establishing the Council, the General Assembly had set out its guiding principles. These included universality, impartiality and non-selectivity. Canada therefore regretted the inclusion in the agenda of one situation for selective treatment, that of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel. This inclusion was due to a politicised approach. While not perfect, there were many positive elements in the proposed package, however, Canada could not agree to a package which contained an item so clearly contradictory to the principles under which the Council was founded. The text also failed to renew and subject to review only the mandates on Cuba and Belarus, both situations that clearly warranted continued scrutiny by country-specific mandates” Human Rights Council Report

Canada was the only nation member of the Council to vote against the text. As UNWatch notes

“For possibly the first time in the history of the United Nations, one of its major bodies has ruled that a consensus vote was achieved even though one of its members—one with a particular reputation for honesty—insists it never gave consent, much less even saw the text that was voted upon.”

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