This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

United Nations Human Rights Council

According to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Annex, the following general criteria will be of paramount importance while nominating, selecting and appointing mandate holders:
(a) expertise;
(b) experience in the field of the mandate;
(c) independence;
(d) impartiality;
(e) personal integrity;
(f) objectivity.

Due consideration should be given to gender balance and equitable geographic representation, as well as to an appropriate representation of different legal systems. Eligible candidates are highly qualified individuals who possess established competence, relevant expertise and extensive professional experience in the field of human rights.
Office of the High Commissioner, United Nations Human Rights
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon unveils the artistic new ceiling of a conference room of the United Nations Human Rights Council. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre.

In the current line-up of the UN Human Rights Council, among the 47 members appointed some stand out for their serious deficiencies in upholding human rights. There is Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Congo, Cuba, Indonesia, Qatar, Russian Federation Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, a who's who of human rights-violating nations, all of whom sit in judgement on other countries' records of human rights violations.

Qatar financially supports the terrorist group Hamas. Russia has added to its own violations by co-opting a significant geographic area of a neighbouring country into its federation. Saudi Arabia's role in financing Wahhabist fundamentalist madrassas throughout the world is known to have led to an upsurge in Islamist terrorism. In Congo, government militias rape vulnerable women at their leisure. China's occupation of Tibet is a travesty.

The United Nations and its member commissions have distinguished themselves by their veneer of concern for human rights while systematically supporting countries that commit wholesale human rights violations, but who are recognized as stalwart human rights supporting nations nonetheless making them fit to sit on the Human Rights Council as sterling examples whose judgement on the recognition of human rights exercised by other countries is to be respected.

So these violators, in collusion with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation unfailingly and repeatedly single out the State of Israel for condemnation as an exemplar of Human Rights violations, while overlooking those countries of the world, the non-aligned and Islamic nations in particular whose practise of human rights violations is notorious, but officially unrecognized. From 1955 to 2013 no fewer than 77 UNHCR resolutions targeted Israel.

In that period, only one resolution passed naming the Palestinian Authority: Resolution 1435: "...‘calls on’ the Palestinian Authority to meet its expressed commitment to ensure that those responsible for terrorist acts are brought to justice by it." Somewhat lopsided to say the very least. Here' serious lopsidedness; the Syrian regime which has been found to have been responsible for 330,000 Syrian deaths, the homelessness of 7 million of its people, has had six resolutions passed against it for its prosecution of the Syrian Civil War.

Now, the United Nations Human Rights Council has appointed Michael Lynk "special rapporteur on  human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967". It has chosen well in line with its other choices. And while the UNHRC declares that "impartiality" and "objectivity" are of "paramount importance" in the selection of mandate holders, it has selected an anything-but-neutral political activist in violation of its own core requirement for the office holder.

Professor Lynk is well known to have served as an advisory board member to Palestinian advocacy organizations, groups which specialize in slandering Israel as an "apartheid state". He has himself personally spoken of Israel engaged in "ethnic cleansing", has addressed "one-state" conferences premised on the position that the Jewish state be abolished and absorbed into a greater Palestinian state. He has been actively involved in advocacy for Palestinians and has been clearly anti-Israel.

Yet, despite the fact that the Government of Canada has appealed to the UNHRC to reconsider its decision to appoint this Canadian, given his background and orientation and clear biases, the UN body chose to proceed. In its most recent session the UNHRC passed five resolutions against Israel, none against Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, Burundi and China.

Anti-Israel bias of a shameless and ferocious iniquity is alive and well at the United Nations. The world body has chosen to betray its founding principles. It is a discredited, useless institution, a victim of its own complicity in taking political sides when it was established as an apolitical voice in the world for reasonableness, rationality, peace among nations and its fervent commitment to uphold human rights for all of humankind.

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