Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Good Thing the UN Has Its Priorities Straight

UN Watch is reporting that while the UN Human Rights Council has responded positively to Cuba's request to investigate rising food prices, the Council isn't interested in looking into the refusal by the ruling junta of Myanmar to allow relief to the millions of people suffering in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis. When asked why the Council was h0lding a special session on food prices (an important, but long-term issue) but not on the situation in Myanmar, Rupert Colville of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights responded that "the Council had a very full programme, including the Universal Periodic Review, so it was a pretty packed schedule at the moment and it would be difficult to fit it in."


This would be shocking, if it wasn't so unsurprising. Bashing the UN is like shooting fish in a barrel. A country's government blocks and steals humanitarian relief aid, and the international body tasked with investigating human rights abuses can't be bothered to find time to even look in to it? The Human Rights Council should be abolished and not replaced unless the UN can get beyond its slavish devotion to sovereign equality and create an institution that works.

1 comment:

Ray W. Johnson said...

Well said, Prof. To have an international organization like the UNHRC is a worthy gesture, but in practice this gesture often falls short of its worldly goals... especially when the UN's priorities are elsewhere.