A recurring U.N. farce
Once again the United Nations has succeeded in making a mockery of its mission.
China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia are among 14 countries elected to three-year-terms on the 47-member Human Rights Council. And no that isn’t a joke.
The council, which sits in Geneva, is supposed to strengthen and protect human rights everywhere.
But what protection can be expected from countries with records like these (an incomplete list)?
China blocks sections of the Internet, arrests dissidents for blog posts or articles the government doesn’t like, sits on Tibet in a repression worthy of a depraved colonialist and arrests people who take part in anti-government demonstrations.
Cuba, notes Human Rights Watch, “represses virtually all forms of political dissent” by closed trials or detention without trial, beatings, travel restrictions and exile.
Saudi Arabia sometimes executes children, leaves foreign workers without protection from exploitation by employers and forbids women to drive, travel unaccompanied by a male relative or to vote.
In Russia, new laws make it possible to charge critics of government officials with libel, outlaw those who could call themselves gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and make advocacy groups that accept money from overseas register as foreign agents.
Geneva-based U.N. Watch concluded that of the 16 candidates for 14 seats, only Britain, France, Mexico and Macedonia were qualified based on their own records — which sounds about right.
It would be nice if the council disappeared altogether, but with 176 of 193 nations voting for candidates like these, extinction isn’t going to happen. The best we can hope for is that the chief U.S. delegate to the United Nations will attempt to thwart any council mischief.