For those of you who believe the United Nations is a useless organization, there are dictators in this world who would beg to differ. The UN is actually very useful for the promotion and maintenance of vile tyrannies throughout the world.
Dictators score major victory at UN Human Rights Council
It is a good day for intolerant rulers like Hugo Chavez and Nursultan Nazarbayev, as seven countries with particularly appalling human rights records were elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council: Ethiopia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.
The U.N. Human Rights Council was founded in 2006 in response to the censure that the U.N. Human Rights Commission was facing for including major human rights violators in its ranks. For decades the Commission was actively destructive to the interests of human rights by providing diplomatic cover to the worst tyrants. Human rights-abusing governments using seats on the Commission to deflect pressure for reform became one of the most cynical games in international politics.
At the time, Secretary General Kofi Annan admitted that the Commission’s “declining credibility” had “cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system. Unless we re-make our human rights machinery, we may be unable to renew public confidence in the United Nations itself.” His advice, that the Commission be “scrapped and replaced,” was heeded. The new Council was to be different; it would only elect countries that “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.” It was to right the wrongs of the defunct Commission. Unfortunately, today’s elections seem to indicate total failure. The Council is the same old wine in a new bottle. Take three of the countries that were elected to the Council with questionable human rights records: Venezuela, Kazakhstan and Pakistan.
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