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Say Goodbye to Universal Human Rights (at least at the UN)

Old 04-06-08, 12:19 PM
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Say Goodbye to Universal Human Rights (at least at the UN)

As I've rambled on about incessantly on this forum, here's further proof of the logic that when the poison of multiculturalism----the belief that all cultures are inherently morally equivalent----takes hold, then the concept of universal human rights must necessarily die. Heres a report from the International Humanist and Ethical Union:

Vote on freedom of expression marks the end of Universal Human Rights

Submitted by admin on 30 March, 2008 - 08:32.

For the past eleven years the organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), representing the 57 Islamic States, has been tightening its grip on the throat of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yesterday, 28 March 2008, they finally killed it.

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.

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.

Three years later Annan’s dream lies shattered, and the Human Rights Council stands exposed as incapable of fulfilling its central role: the promotion and protection of human rights. The Council died yesterday in Geneva, and with it the Universal Declaration of Human Rights whose 60th anniversary we were actually celebrating this year.

There has been a seismic shift in the balance of power in the UN system. For over a decade the Islamic States have been flexing their muscles. Yesterday they struck. There can no longer be any pretence that the Human Rights Council can defend human rights. The moral leadership of the UN system has moved from the States who created the UN in the aftermath of the Second World War, committed to the concepts of equality, individual freedom and the rule of law, to the Islamic States, whose allegiance is to a narrow, medieval worldview defined exclusively in terms of man’s duties towards Allah, and to their fellow-travellers, the States who see their future economic and political interests as being best served by their alliances with the Islamic States.

Yesterday’s attack by the Islamists, led by Pakistan, had the subtlety of a thin-bladed knife slipped silently under the ribs of the Human Rights Council. At first reading the amendment to the resolution to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression might seem reasonable. It requires the Special Rapporteur:

“To report on instances in which the abuse of the right of freedom of expression constitutes an act of racial or religious discrimination …”

For Canada, who had fought long and hard as main sponsor of this resolution to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, this was too much. The internationally agreed limits to Freedom of Expression are detailed in article 19 of the legally binding International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and are already referred to in the preamble to the resolution. If abuse of freedom of expression infringed anyone’s freedom of religion, for example, it would fall within the scope of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion. To add it here was unnecessary duplication, and “Requesting the Special Rapporteur to report on abuses of [this right] would turn the mandate on its head. Instead of promoting freedom of expression the Special Rapporteur would be policing its exercise … If this amendment is adopted, Canada will withdraw its sponsorship from the main resolution.”

Canada’s position was echoed by several delegations including India, who objected to the change of focus from protecting to limiting freedom of expression. The European Union, the United Kingdom (speaking for Australia and the United States), India, Brazil, Bolivia, Guatemala and Switzerland all withdrew their sponsorship of the main resolution when the amendment was passed. In total, more than 20 of the original 53 co-sponsors of the resolution withdrew their support.

On the vote, the amendment was adopted by 27 votes to 15 against, with three abstentions.

The Sri Lankan delegate explained clearly his reasons for supporting the amendment:
“.. if we regulate certain things ‘minimally’ we may be able to prevent them from being enacted violently on the streets of our towns and cities.”

In other words: Don’t exercise your right to freedom of expression because your opponents may become violent. For the first time in the 60 year history of UN Human Rights bodies, a fundamental human right has been limited simply because of the possible violent reaction by the enemies of human rights.

The violence we have seen played out in reaction to the Danish cartoons is thus excused by the Council – it was the cartoonists whose freedom of expression needed to be regulated. And Theo van Gogh can be deemed responsible for his own death.

Freedom of expression is that right which – uniquely – enables us to expose, communicate and condemn abuse of all our other rights. Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press we give the green light to tyranny and make it impossible to expose corruption, incompetence, injustice and oppression.

But however important freedom of expression may be for us who live in the West, its overwhelming importance for those who live under the tyranny of Islamic law was highlighted by a courageous group of 21 NGOs from the Islamic States who issued a statement yesterday appealing to delegations to oppose the amendment. See http://www.article19.org/pdfs/press/petition-hrc.pdf

Incredibly, following the vote on the amendment, the Council descended even further into chaos. At the very last moment, Cuba introduced an oral amendment – clearly against the rules of procedure. When Canada objected they were overruled by the President. When Slovenia – on behalf of the European Union – tried to intervene on a point of order and ask for a ten-minute adjournment, they were ignored. When they tried to protest in another point of order their right to do so was challenged by Egypt, and the Egyptian objection was upheld.

The main resolution was then put to the vote and was adopted by 32 votes in favour, none against, with 15 abstentions.

The NGO community now needs to think carefully about what purpose can any longer be served by continuing our engagement with the Human Rights Council, and by fighting for values that are no longer accepted within the UN system. I have personally been involved with the Human Rights Commission and Council for the past five years and can see little benefit in continuing. Our well-argued position papers are ignored, our speeches are interrupted with repeated and irrelevant points of order, and we are not even supported in our efforts by the western delegations who, shockingly, did not even vote against today’s travesty, but abstained.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights died yesterday. Who knows when, or if, it can ever be revived.

I used to wonder what States who felt it necessary to kill people because they change their religion thought they were doing in the Human Rights Council. Now I know.

The wafer-thin sham of an international consensus on the promotion and protection of human rights has finally been exposed for what it was – a sham. The fragmentation of human rights now appears inevitable. The proposed Islamic Charter on Human Rights (read “Duties towards Allah”) will certainly go ahead, as will the creation of a parallel Islamic Council on Human Rights. But the OIC will nevertheless continue to attend and dominate the UN Human Rights Council, thereby ensuring its continuing emasculation and descent into total irrelevance.

Just five months before he and more than 20 of his colleagues were killed by a terrorist bomb in Baghdad, the then High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, wrote:

“Membership of the Commission on Human Rights must carry responsibilities. I therefore wonder whether the time has not come for the Commission itself to develop a code of guidelines for access to membership of the Commission and a code of conduct for members while they serve on the Commission. After all the Commission on Human Rights has a duty to humanity and the members of the Commission must themselves set the example of adherence to the international human rights norms – in practice as well as in law…”

States who are genuinely concerned with human rights should immediately withdraw from the Council until such time as all member states as well as those offering themselves for election agree to honour their pledges, and undertake to expel any member state which, having been put on notice regarding its human rights record, fails to put its house in order within a reasonable timescale. Failing this, what better tribute to Sergio de Mello could there be than to create an alternative organisation – Kofi Annan’s organisation of the willing - whose members agree to adopt Sergio de Mello’s guidelines and code of conduct – and are actually held to account.

Roy W Brown
Geneva, 29 March 2008

http://www.iheu.org/node/3123
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Old 04-06-08, 02:42 PM
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Well, I don't see much protest. Apparently, everyone likes to be ruled by the OIC.
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Old 04-12-08, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
Well, I don't see much protest. Apparently, everyone likes to be ruled by the OIC.
Yep, I guess it's not much of a concern. And hey, it's not as if this council isn't working at hard in other areas:


U.N. Official Urged Commission To Study Neocon Role in 9/11

By ELI LAKE, STAFF REPORTER OF THE SUN | April 9, 2008

WASHINGTON — A new U.N. Human Rights Council official assigned to monitor Israel is calling for an official commission to study the role neoconservatives may have played in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.


On March 26, Richard Falk, Milbank professor of international law emeritus at Princeton University, was named by unanimous vote to a newly created position to report on human rights in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. [ Ky-Fi---I'll take a wild stab in the dark and guess that Mr. Falk doesn't consider Hamas or Islamic Jihad to be terrorist organizations] While Mr. Falk’s specialty is human rights and international law, since the attacks in 2001, he has devoted some of his time to challenging what he calls the “9-11 official version.”

On March 24 in an interview with a radio host and former University of Wisconsin instructor, Kevin Barrett, Mr. Falk said, “It is possibly true that especially the neoconservatives thought there was a situation in the country and in the world where something had to happen to wake up the American people. Whether they are innocent about the contention that they made that something happen or not, I don’t think we can answer definitively at this point. All we can say is there is a lot of grounds for suspicion, there should be an official investigation of the sort the 9/11 commission did not engage in and that the failure to do these things is cheating the American people and in some sense the people of the world of a greater confidence in what really happened than they presently possess.”

Mr. Barrett, who is the co-founder of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth, said in an interview yesterday of Mr. Falk, “I would put him on a list of scholars who are sympathetic to the 9/11 truth movement.”

He added, “Unlike most public intellectuals today, he is both honest and very, very knowledgeable in that he understands the probable reality of 9/11. He understands that the evidence that it was a false flag operation is very strong.”

The narrative that the attacks from 2001 were a “false flag” operation is a recurring theme in the literature challenging the consensus that 19 Al Qaeda hijackers flew commercial jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. False flag refers to espionage or covert actions taken by one government made to seem like the work of another. The false flag thesis has it that the Bush administration is somehow responsible for the September 11 attacks as a pretext for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mr. Falk yesterday did not return e-mails and phone calls asking for a comment. But in 2004 he wrote the foreword to the book “The New Pearl Harbor,” by David Ray Griffin. Mr. Griffin has posited that such an inside job is the likely explanation for the attacks.

In the preface, Mr. Falk writes, “There have been questions raised here and there and allegations of official complicity made almost from the day of the attacks, especially in Europe, but no one until Griffin has had the patience, the fortitude, the courage, and the intelligence to put the pieces together in a single coherent account.”

When asked for a comment about the appointment of Mr. Falk, a former American ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton said, “This is exactly why we voted against the new human rights council.” A spokesman for the American embassy at the United Nations offered no comment yesterday when asked.

A spokeswoman at the United Nations, Nancy Groves, yesterday also declined to comment. “I would not make a comment on how the member states vote on appointments. It is their council, they make their decisions,” she said.

Mr. Falk’s selection to the post as rapporteur has already prompted the government of Israel formally to request that Mr. Falk not be sent to their country. The Israeli press has reported that he may even be barred from entering the country.

The deputy permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations in New York, Daniel Carmon said, “We are asking the U.N. not to send him. We cannot agree to Mr. Falk’s entrance into Israel in his capacity as the rapporteur.”

One reason the Israelis are concerned about his appointment is that Mr. Falk has compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs to the Nazi treatment of Jews in the holocaust. In an April 8 BBC interview, Mr. Falk said he stood by the Israel-Nazi comparison.

The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, issued a statement yesterday saying, “This was clearly a singularly inappropriate choice for this position. Falk’s startling record of anti-Israel prejudice should have been enough to preclude him from a position where an unbiased observer is needed to report on the status of human rights in the territories.”

In a February 16, 1979, op-ed for the New York Times, Mr. Falk praised Ayatollah Khomeini and bemoaned his ill treatment in the American press. He wrote, “The depiction of him as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false.” Nearly nine months later, student followers of Khomeini invaded the American embassy in Tehran and held 52 diplomats hostage for the following 444 days.

http://www.nysun.com/news/foreign/un...eocon-role-911


*****************************

Hmmm....given his unanimous confirmation by the OIC countries, given his "expertise" and strong opinions on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and given his disdain for "neoconservatives" , I wonder....is it possible that he's suspecting someone behind the "neoconservative" conspiracy to committ 9/11....like maybe..........THE JEWS?!!!!!!

The alliance of far-left racists and Islamists, whose shared values are largely hatred of Jews, the West and capitalism, taking over the most prominent international body of human rights would be hilarious if it weren't so tragic, especially when you contrast it with the motivations and intentions of the people who originally formed the UN, and who so deeply believed in the values enshrined in the their initial Human Rights Charter.
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Old 04-14-08, 12:18 PM
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It's official. The U.N. has outlived it's usefulness. Time for the U.S. to get out. Let's turn that property on the East River into something useful, like low-cost housing and a Wal-Mart.
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Old 04-14-08, 12:43 PM
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Richard Falk - just some background info ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Falk
http://www.ihc.ucsb.edu/events/event...winter03/falk/
http://www.princeton.edu/politics/pe...ml?netid=rfalk
http://www.bostonreview.net/BR30.1/falk.html Article on Walt and his view on Realism.

Interesting little part on Wiki ... with citations

Yitzhak Levanon, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, criticised Falk's appointment by the UNHRC in an address to the council, stating: "He has taken part in a UN fact-finding mission which determined that suicide bombings were a valid method of 'struggle'. He has disturbingly charged Israel with 'genocidal tendencies', and accused it of trying to achieve security through 'state terrorism'. Someone who has publicly and repeatedly stated such views cannot possibly be considered independent, impartial or objective."[7] The Israeli government announced that it will deny Falk a visa to Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, at least until the September meeting of the Human Rights Council.[8]
7 UNHRC appointment infuriates Israel, The Jerusalem Post, March 26, 2008.
8 Israel to bar UN official for comparing Israelis to Nazis, Haaretz, April 8, 2008.

Last edited by Lemdog; 04-14-08 at 12:51 PM.
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