It Is Time For The UN’s Human Rights Council To End
As we look at the UN’s Human Rights Council, it was an organization with so much promise, yet in a short time it was hijacked and taken over by special interests that then turned the council to focus on a nation with the exclusion of all others. The Human Rights Council was created noble goals, an intent to look at human rights violations around the world, was given mechanisms to enforce and stop the worst of violators, these were the Universal Periodic Review’s, this is where they go over every member’s human rights issues and issues standings, governments were receptive to these reviews, were making changes within their own government bodies . The put in place Country-specific Scrutiny, these would after finding nations with gross violations of human rights, would set up within Commissions of Inquiry that could then focus on that nation, giving them the resources to investigate with the power then to present their findings and then a recommendation to the council, which in turn would be presented to the general assembly, their reports provide authoritative findings on the complex patterns of violations, identification of responsible actors, and recommendations for accountability and reform. Back in 2011, seemed to be unbiased, was a great program going forward , then special interests came in, took away the ability to look at other countries and started to look exclusively at just one, setting up a permanent commission whose only responsibility was looking at the violations of Israel, yet nothing on Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela or the other violators such as China, Venezuela, and other hot spots of violations.
When did the change in this organization start? One can look at members to see this; in 2006 and seven their members were Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, Bahrain, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Poland, Czech Republic, Argentina, Ecuador, Finland, and Netherlands, under their oversight the commission while it had some minor issues, it dug into problems, set up commissions, and saw much of what is seen as human rights violations be addressed, the problem you had is with such an open oversight over 27% of their recommendations were able to get through, many of the nations condemned would set up blocks of support, they were able to shoot down many of the recommendations.
The change started in 2012, that year we saw the members switch from countries who as a rule did not have many human rights issues to countries that had many, these countries, among some of the worst violators were now on the board; like Angola, a country in 2012 when they took their seat the US State Department had issued this finding on them (“The three most important human rights cases of abuse [in 2012] were official corruption and impunity; limits on the freedoms of assembly, association, speech, and press; and cruel and excessive punishment, including reported cases of torture and beatings as well as unlawful killings by police and other security personnel. Other human rights abuses included: harsh and potentially life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; lengthy pretrial detention; impunity for human rights abusers; lack of judicial process and judicial inefficiency; infringements on citizens’ privacy rights and forced evictions without compensation; restrictions on nongovernmental organizations … ; discrimination and violence against women; abuse of children; trafficking in persons; discrimination against persons with disabilities, indigenous people, and persons with HIV/AIDS; limits on workers’ rights; and forced labor.”) , this is what is on the UN Human Rights Commission, I must ask, “How can a country that is a habitual violator of human rights able to make judgments on others?”
And this is just Angola, we have Algeria, China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Russia, and Cuba sitting on the board in 2013 – 2016, in addition, we saw Qatar join in 2014, still is on the commission, in 2015 the United Arab Emirates, China, Cuba came back on in 2016 joined by Iraq and Egypt, Saudi Arabia again , this is whom we have sitting on the commission now, and their focus is on one nation, not Syria and their human rights violation, there are no permanent Commissions of Inquiry set up for them, for Saudi violations of Human rights, sure not Qatar who supports many of the terrorist in the Middle East, Egypt which had a host of problems, but at least is improving, Jordan who is no stellar example of human rights, Saudi Arabia or China, nope, the only country they have a permanent Commissions of Inquiry, I am not saying Israel is perfect, far from it, every democracy faces a host of problems, but you don’t see a religious prosecution, it is the only nation in the Middle East with a growing Christian population, the Arab problem is a issue, I will get into this later, much of this is self-imposed, if they had not sent suicide bombers into Pizza Parlors, on buses with children and the elderly, or attacked wedding receptions, there would be no need for a wall, if there were not over 10,000 rockets and mortars to date fired at civilians in Israel, there would be no need to clear the launching sites out, nor would they need to go in and find terror tunnels going into Israel if the terrorist Hamas had not built them to kidnap and kill civilians, but that is a different story.
I think at this point the UN Council of Human Rights is so corrupted to try to fix it is a waste of time, the structure of the UN must allow gross violators of human rights to sit on the council, interesting with Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, North Korea and Iran sitting on the Council, the one nation never allowed to sit on it is Israel, of course this is a personal opinion, please take it as such. But if we are going to continue to fund radical Islamic and communist regimes that have shown no concern for human rights, putting them in charge of policing other nations for doing the same thing they are doing, all the while protecting themselves from condemnation, it is a waste of money, makes as much sense as putting a fox in charge of protecting a hen house.
1 In 2008, just 27 percent of all UPR recommendations were accepted; in 2014 this number rose to 69 percent. Ted Piccone and Naomi McMillen, “Country-specific Scrutiny at the United Nations Human Rights Council: More than Meets the Eye,” Brookings Institution Working Paper, May 2016, p. 9.
2 Only two of these 17 were related to Israel/OPT