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August 04, 2003

Human Rights Leader, Libya...

The UN Human Rights Commission has stripped Reporters Without Borders of its consultative status with the Commission.

The chair of the Commission, Libya, evidently felt that the purpose of the Human Rights Commission is to stamp them out, rather than encourage them.

Reporters Without Borders, like Doctors Without Borders, is a left leaning group that nonetheless does yoeman work in putting a spotlight on evil, yes I used that word, evil government abuses of human rights.

In a detailed report here, Reporters suggests that it's probably a pretty bad idea to have 30 of the world's top human rights abusers running the UN body in charge of policing human rights violations. Hmmmm... I dunno... sounds tricky.

Here's how the vote to ban Reporters broke down:

In favour (27) : Azerbaijan, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Burundi, China, Congo, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Against (23) : Andorra, Australia, Chile, El Salvador, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States.

Abstentions (4) : Argentina, Ecuador, Japan, and Senegal.

I'm a strong believer in the universal applicability of human rights. I do believe that the Creator endowed man with certain inalienable rights. And no matter what your beliefs are, or where your homeland is, or whether you live in a basic hut with one dung fire, or the deluxe one with two dung fires -- I think you have a right to some basic liberty. So I don't care who is standing up for human rights, I'll gladly cheer them on.

I may be pretty conservative, and to my way of thinking Tom Lantos and Nancy Pelosi may be odious big government lovin' collectivists, but when they call out the Chi Coms for their human rights abuses, I'm happy to offer support from the sidelines.

Posted by Blackavar at August 4, 2003 01:52 PM | TrackBack
Comments
I don't think RSF should be out of the UN, but it's their own fault that they are. Their suspension was predicated on an incident where they disrupted a Commission meeting by throwing fliers off of a balcony in the chamber. Then, they chose not to appeal or fight the suspension. They could have fought it, but chose not to because letting it stand makes a better story. I'm not defending the breach of procedure, or the actions of the countries who instigated the procedings, but they had a very good chance to appeal and chose not to. I've compiled a number of sources on this. Posted by: Amy Phillips at August 5, 2003 12:36 AM
Thanks for the further info Amy. I tend to agree with you - bad manners deserve some sanction. I will read up on the full story and find out more. My preconceived notion, however, is that Reporters' unruly protest was probably well warranted by the Commission's action. I can understand their refusal to appeal - not only does it make a better story, but it catches the Commission out at its corrupt worst, rather than giving it a chance to correct itself thereby hiding its own corruption. It's a better story, and the better story may actually help bring about reform. Posted by: Blackavar at August 5, 2003 10:56 AM
I read your materials on RSF, Amy. You are right, they broke the procedural rules and for that deserve some sanction. If we don't maintain fidelity to the laws and to the rules, then we are nowhere. I would point out, however, that as acts of civil disobedience go, the distribution of flyers within a meeting chamber is a pretty darn good one - it's basically civil and a good way to draw attention to the corruption of the commission. Sometimes you need to slap the UN a bit to get its attention - witness the bureaucratic reform that Jesse Helms' visit, and stark speach, encouraged. The UN is still a bloated bureaucratic beast, but some of the more outrageous abuses are being brought to heel. None of this, of course, speaks to the larger question, which is whether the UN ought to exist, or is worth having. Posted by: Blackavar at August 5, 2003 11:00 AM
What embleer beauzeaux! Bush was right about the bureauc-rats! Conflicts of interest! Posted by: Hrairoo at August 6, 2003 11:21 AM
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