Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Hypocrisy at the UN: Tyrannies oppose “country-specific” resolutions --

From a UN Watch Briefing,  Vol. 396 | Dec. 3, 2012:
In an astonishing display of hypocrisy, numerous U.N. country delegates gave impassioned speeches last Tuesday objecting to resolutions criticizing the murderous regimes of Iran, North Korea and Syria, saying they rejected the very notion of singling out countries; and then they proceeded, mere moments later, to adopt a resolution — which many of them also co-sponsored — singling out democratic Israel.
According to a UN Watch report, featured on Canadian TV and now going viral on Facebook, there will be a total of 21 one-sided resolutions targeting the Jewish state in this session of the U.N. General Assembly -- and only 4 on the rest of the world combined.
Here were the objections supposedly made in the name of high principle, from the U.N.'s Nov. 27 debate:
  • Kazakhstan on behalf of the 57-strong Organization of the Islamic Conference opposed “the practice of submitting country-specific resolutions” on human rights “targeting developing countries.” This, said the dictatorship, “politicized human rights.”
  • Syria asserted a “principled position” that rejected “intervening in the internal affairs of any other State under the pretext of human rights.”
  • China “regretted” the resolution on North Korea,” as it “has always opposed imposing pressure through country-specific texts” and “interference in States’ internal affairs.”
  • Cuba opposed “all country-specific resolutions aimed at countries of the global South.” This, it said, was precisely the “politicization” that led to the disappearance of the old Commission on Human Rights.
  • Russia was “against one-sided and biased resolutions” which “did not promote resolution of human rights issues.”
  • Iran objected that “the proliferation of country-specific texts” breached “the principles of impartiality and non-selectivity” in addressing human rights issues. “Selective country-specific resolutions” would reduce noble human rights concerns to “manipulative devices of political rivalry.”
  • Venezuela opposed “individual and selective condemnation of single States.” Sponsors of the resolution on Iran had actually “violated human rights themselves,” showing “selectivity” and “double standards.” Rather, “dialogue, mutual respect and cooperation” should be the essential instrument for promotion and protection of human rights.
  • Nicaragua joined with Cuba in objecting to the resolutions on Iran, Syria and North Korea, and it rejected once again “the practice of selectivity on human rights.”
  • Ecuador rejected “the continued chorus of finger pointing at specific countries.”
  • Belarus said the draft resolution on Iran failed to “promote dialogue on support for human rights.” The draft resolution was “not objective,” and “ignored official sources of information” and “specific actions.”
  • Bolivia firmly supported the principles of “non-interference” and “sovereignty,” and therefore would vote against the resolution on Iran.
Yet right after they opposed action on Iran, Syria, and North Korea, all of their principled objections to “country-specific” measures, “politicization,” and “selectivity” quickly went out the door.
Instead, each of the countries listed above went on to vote and adopt a U.N. resolution slamming Israel for alleged actions that “severely impede the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.”
Suddenly, Belarus and Venezuela declined to ask the U.N. to engage in any "dialogue" with the country concerned.
Needless to say, there will be no U.N. resolutions this session supporting the Jewish right to self-determination, nor that of the Kurds, Tibetans, Basques or Baluchis.
Those who truly care for the noble principles of the U.N. Charter -- namely, its guarantee of equal treatment to all nations large and small -- should be decrying this perversion of justice.
That is exactly what the government of Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has done, time and again, while no foreign minister in the world has been more outspoken this year against U.N. wrongdoing than Canada's John Baird. When it comes to moral clarity at the U.N., follow the North Star.
Tragically at the U.N., however, too many delegates follow the herd, the largest vote-trading blocs, and the largest oil-producers, no matter how many tyrants and mass murderers among them. They choose to go along to get along.
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