The new Human Rights Council, which replaces the discredited Human Rights Commission as the U.N.’s lead human-rights body, now seats some of the world’s worst human-rights abusers firmly on the inside. China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia are among its members. The controlling 55 percent of the Council’s votes are in the hands of the Asian and African regional groups, and the election handed a 62-percent interest in those groups to the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Issuing human-rights abusers a new license to judge human rights abuse is not successful reform.Read it all, friends. Who was it that said the United Nations was the last great hope of mankind? Wanna take it back?
On management reform, the situation has gone completely off the rails. Annan put a minimal reform package on the table that attempted to wrestle some control from the General Assembly majority which pays a small fraction of the U.N.’s costs. In response, for the first time in 19 years, that same majority forced a vote in the U.N.’s budget committee and sidelined the reform effort. The 50 countries that voted in the minority pay 87 percent of the U.N.’s dues.
On preventing genocide, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights appointed a Palestinian as executive director of a Commission of Inquiry on Darfur. Not surprisingly, the 2005 Commission’s report refused to identify the millions of dead and displaced as an instance of genocide. The commission was loathe to label Darfur an ethnic or racial conflict between Arab militia and non-Arab victim. This pre-summit failure, along with Sudanese intransigence and African Union reservations, contributed to the continuing spectacle of U.N. troops remaining on the sidelines despite the carnage.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
The UN--it's funny because it's true
The inmates are running the asylum: