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UDHR under Attack Part 1

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on April 21, 2008


International Humanist and Ethical Union carried an article on March 30, 2008.

Eleanor Roosevelt with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“With the support of their allies including China, Russia and Cuba (none well-known for their defence of human rights) the Islamic States succeeded in forcing through an amendment to a resolution on Freedom of Expression that has turned the entire concept on its head. The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression will now be required to report on the “abuse” of this most cherished freedom by anyone who, for example, dares speak out against Sharia laws that require women to be stoned to death for adultery or young men to be hanged for being gay, or against the marriage of girls as young as nine, as in Iran.”

The entire idea is silly, because Religious Freedom and Protection of honor and reputation is already guaranteed by the UDHR (articles 12 and 19), so it seems the OIC is somehow overshooting.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan saw the writing on the wall three years ago when he spoke of the old Commission on Human Rights having “become too selective and too political in its work”. Piecemeal reform would not be enough. The old system needed to be swept away and replaced by something better. The Human Rights Council was supposed to be that new start, a Council whose members genuinely supported, and were prepared to defend, the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Yet since its inception in June 2006, the Human Rights Council has failed to condemn the most egregious examples of human rights abuse in the Sudan, Byelorussia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and elsewhere, whilst repeatedly condemning Israel and Israel alone.

Considering that we have 22 Arab Nations, a bunch of Islamic Nations, and Russia, Cuba, China involved as well as the usual abstentions one might be allowed some skepticism. If the old Commission didn’t work because of WHO are the members and the incessant politicking around who votes for because another votes against, one can hardly expect a Council to make much head way, if the same members are allowed to influence the work.

It’s like the debacle with the UN Resolutions – they will always be slanted against Israel, because there will always be 22 votes against her, plus the allies of those 22 votes…and the allies of those allies…

The whole idea of nations being members of UN Bodies is ridiculous, especially in Bodies that should have no political agenda at all, such as the Human Rights Council. Human Rights, Children’s Rights etc are non-political, so the people in UN who deal with those Rights should not be political either – i.e members of the Human Rights Council should not be nations and they should be separated from their Nationality when they assume their duties on the Council. They should also be required to swear that they will maintain their neutrality for the duration of their service on the Council. Any amendments to the various UN Charters and Declarations should be made by those neutral council members and not be voted on out-side the Council.

End Part 1

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2 Responses to “UDHR under Attack Part 1”

  1. […] by Henric C. Jensen on April 22, 2008 Three years later Annan’s dream lies shattered, and the Human Rights Council stands exposed as incapable of fulfilling its central […]

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  2. just to relate

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