Monday, April 25, 2011

Syria Takes the UN "Human Rights" Pledge

Anne Bayefsky writes re the farce of Assad's Syria (currently moving down its restive populace) seeking a seat on the UN's "human rights" body:
Syria is currently running for a seat on the U.N.'s flagship "human rights" body, the Human Rights Council. Seats are allocated to five regional groups, and just to make sure Syria's ascendancy is unimpeded, the Asian group has only nominated the same number of states as they have seats. So barring any unexpected additions, Syria will join fellow U.N. human rights authorities like Saudi Arabia on the Council in May.
The U.N. does have a "test" for Human Rights Council wannabes. They call it a pledge system – candidates should promise to protect human rights. In the words of the 2006 General Assembly resolution that created the Council (the Bush administration and Israel casting a negative vote), when electing candidates "voluntary pledges and commitments made" "to the promotion and protection of human rights" should be "taken into account."
Syria has been a quick study. Its pledge, obligingly posted on the U.N. website, says: "Promotion and protection of human rights are of highest importance to Syria…Syria's candidature to the Human Rights Council signifies its commitment to respect and to support the inalienable and indivisible nature of all human rights."...
Well, as long they pledge to support "human rights" I guess they're a shoe-in.

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