UN Poisons Its Human Rights Mission - Irwin Cotler
The UN Human Rights Council is the mandated UN body responsible for the promotion and protection of international human rights. But the council has turned its mandate on its head. It has turned a blind eye to the world's most serious human rights violators, failing to adopt any resolution or investigative mandate for such human rights violator countries as China, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Russia or Iran, to name but a few - all being listed on Freedom House's list of the 20 worst human rights abusers. While the UN General Assembly calls for countries to be elected to the council based on their human rights records, 24 out of 47 present members (51%) fail to meet fundamental standards of democracy and human rights.
Since its 2006 creation, 80% of the council's resolutions have singled out one member state - Israel - for differential and discriminatory treatment, thereby breaching the UN charter's foundational principle of "equality for all nations, large and small." The tragedy in all this is that a UN body, established for the protection of human rights, has become a human rights violator. In particular, these violations now take place under the protective cover of the UN, invoking the imprimatur of international law and marching under the banner of human rights. The writer is a former minister of justice and attorney-general of Canada. (The Australian)