Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The UN & Human Rights: "You Can't Blame the Institution...."

Louise Fréchette, a former UN deputy secretary-general, says that the UN's members, rather than the world body, are creating the farcical situations.

"You can't blame the institution, you have to look at its international dynamics," says Fréchette, a distinguished fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

The above statements were published in the Toronto Star on 18 May 2007 in an article discussing the recent election of Egypt, along with other nations, to the newly formed 14 seats, Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council, replacing the politically-charged UN Human Rights Commission.

The article, quite eloquently, shows that instead of blaming the institution of the United Nations, such outcome merits a closer look at its membership and that: the Human Rights Council election "shows we don't have a strong international consensus on human rights."
For the full story, please click here....


  1. There is no substitute for the dependability of member states to enforce international treaties. Everything else is second or last best.

    However, one missing ingredient in the equation is world public opinion which can put pressure on deviant member states.

    Let us hope that all offenders come to their senses and implement international treaties that protect the rights of all citizens including minorities.

  2. My understanding of the new UN HR Council is that its members will be held accountable to the international standards of upholding human rights in their own countries. This means that these member nations will have to conform to these high standards, and to prove that they do not allow torture, false imprisonment, discrimination based of religion or belief, etc....

  3. the only effective deterrent to deviant behavior is to HOLD ACCOUNTABLE the LEADERS of the organizations...lets suppose that the CEO of ABZ Widget manufacturing has been found guilty of polluting the zig-zag river and has to serve 20 years in prison to atone for the errant deeds of his corporation... see how quickly people will reform....

    or lets remember the Nuremburg trials after WWII where the NAZI Leaders were executed for genocide against the Jewish religion...

    we need to have Nuremburg resurrected!!!!!

  4. In any process of development, there is the introduction of knowledge, followed by experience and understanding, consolidation, then the implementation of a system of regulation and enforcement. This takes time. The UN is a collective, each member party with its own history, temperament, ambitions, strengths and imperfections. The magnitude of challenges in developing a cohesive and mature body out of such a number of entities is not one that is immediately achieved, neither is it inherently natural as observed throughout the history of humanity’s development.

    Though it is an innate, and at most times, justified impulse that the reaction to injustice is anger, disgust, revulsion and disappointment, it is these very inclinations that have brought mankind to its current plight. Justice by itself is simple as a concept, but the mechanism of achieving its provisions is of the utmost challenge. For this reason, it is imperative that whatever system is established is carried through its period of development with complete support and faithful dedication.

    There is no question that the severe conditions in Egypt and Iran will be resolved; it is the manner and noble conduct of its achievers that will set the benchmark. The most effective and potent form of justice has always been achieved by those strengthened by righteousness and guided by intelligence and insight. It will be a great day indeed when the UN achieves such a standard. At that time, there will be no violator that would dare challenge a united world body.

  5. there are times when a situation dictates swift action...

    suppose you are walking along a road and you see a truck approaching a small child...

    by the time you take the problem to a committee... the child would be dead...

    but then wisdom would prevent such a situation....but then again we're not dealing with intelligent people all the time...

  6. I think it is easy for us to postulate. What I would like to know is: what should be done to expedite such action?


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