Libya and the UN's Human Rights Council
As Muamar Gadafi of Libya and his minions continue to slaughter their own citizens as part of that nation's civil war, some may be surprised to learn that Libya is an honored member of the UN's grotesquely named Human Rights Council; http://middleeast.about.com/od/organizations/a/human-rights-council-membership.htm indeed it was president of its predecessor, the Human Rights Commission just a few years ago while the country was also oppressing its citizens.
Eye on the UN posted a video demonstrating how the Human Rights Council, instead of condemning Libya's Gadafi for its widespread human rights violations, enabled and empowered him.
And who was one of the enablers? Why, none other than the US as Anne Bayefsky of Eye on the UN explains.
President Obama made the decision to join the Council the flagship of his U.N.-focused foreign policy.
The explicit reason that the administration joined the Council was to engage "from the inside" in a reform process. When the Council was created in 2006 by the General Assembly, it was given five years to review its progress and reform anything found lacking. On Thursday, that review process came to its conclusion - and today Clinton tried to do everything possible to hide its abysmal failure.
The Council has two obvious flaws. Number one it has a standing agenda that governs all of its operations, with ten items on it. One is dedicated to condemning the state of Israel and one is for the remaining 191 UN countries that it might be interested in should it ever decide there was another "human rights situations that require[d] the Council's attention." The singular effort to use its so-called human rights system to demonize the Jewish state has been a roaring success. Half of its special sessions on specific countries and half of all its resolutions and decisions critical of any state condemn Israel alone.
When the President Obama joined the Council it promised that changing the discriminatory agenda would be their first priority. On Thursday, we discovered, it was a hoax. The review process has been going on in the context of a working group of all interested members of the U.N. The working group adopted its report on Thursday by consensus - with the U.S. present. And in the usual opaque U.N. language, the consensus report states: "The Council's agenda and framework for programme of work are as is specified in the annex to Council resolution 5/1." In plain English, that means business as usual, resolution 5/1 being the discriminatory agenda adopted in June 2007.The loss can be measured by the administration's own words. On October 27 of last year the U.S. delegation placed on the table its demands for reform - duly transmitted to an American audience. Agenda reform was top of the list. "The most entrenched and indefensible manifestation of structural bias in this Council comes in the form of...the only agenda item devoted to one country...The United States believes strongly that...as a group charged with examining what must be done to improve the credibility and efficacy of this Council it is incumbent upon us to....to do what is right to help the Council become more evenhanded and depoliticized."
Alas, that is not about to happen. Instead
On Friday, March 4, Iran - the country that buries women naked to their waist and then stones them to death for "adultery" - is going to take its seat as a full-fledged member of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.
This fits in with the mindset and actions of the UN. At Pajamas Media, Bayefsky provides a snapshot of the UN. Here is a quick peek.
Number of UN Security Council presidential statements or resolutions on the current atrocities perpetrated by Arab and Muslim dictators in Iran, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia,Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain.
Number of meetings called by the Security Council to discuss and consider a possible resolution or presidential statement on any of these countries. (snip)
Number of special sessions called by the Human Rights Council to draw attention to, discuss, consider a possible resolution or decision on the current atrocities perpetrated by Arab and Muslim dictators in Iran, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia,Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain.
Number of resolutions or decisions adopted by the Human Rights Council about the lack of democracy and brutality of the governments of Arab and Muslim dictators in Iran, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia,Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain.
On the other hand,
Number of Special Sessions on country situations called by the Human Rights Council on Israel
50% (6 of 12)
Number of Resolutions and Decisions adopted by the Human Rights Council critical of the human rights record of specific states directed at Israel
50% (41 of 83)
As Bayefsky concludes
The Obama administration would rather promote the institution of the United Nations than save real people from the U.N.'s grotesque neglect.