Posted by: bklunk | June 19, 2007

Just An Oversight I’m Sure

What the People’s Daily fails to mention is that China insisted on rules that would make it more difficult for the UNHRC to single out a specific country for criticism.

People’s Daily Online — UN human rights watchdog formally adopts new working rules

The UN Human Rights Council formally adopted new working rules on Tuesday that oblige all member states to submit to periodic scrutiny of their records.

The 47-state Human Rights Council finally approved a compromise proposal on its future work with 46 votes. Only Canada came out against, citing concerns about the permanent mentioning of Palestinian Territories in the council’s future agenda.

Under the new rules, all UN member states must submit to periodic scrutiny of their human rights records.

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  1. Human rights is an issue that concerns all states. If the UN is trying to make itself into a strong international institution is needs to address this topic and punish states that do not live up to the human rights standard. Sure certain countries can argue that cultures differ from region to region and that the human rights rules enforced now are mostly driven by Euro-American traditions, but I believe that basic rights can integrate into any society. Every religion teaches people to become good people and they are usually alike in their teachings, our social construct on what is acceptable have been globalized long before our economies were. Because of the importance of human rights each state should be held accountable for what goes on domestically and abroad.

  2. Human rights has been a growing concern since the end of WWII. It has become a main feature in foreign politics. Sure some may argue that the universal human rights that are being pushed now are Euro-American oriented and that it does not agree with some culture’s definition, but the basic rules are global. Like how every religion teaches people to be good, some things just should not happen. With this growing importance, of course human rights should exist in countries that are leading the world today.

  3. Human rights has become an issue that is acknowledged world wide. The increase in globalization and the strength of international institutions have implemented human rights into every state’s government. Some may argue that the human rights that are being spread now are Euro-Americanized and does not include other cultures. However, the most basic of human rights are taught in all societies, no matter how different. And so I believe that if the world leaders want to enforce these ideals they should make sure that their own human rights laws are up to par.

  4. I believe this is a great idea. The UN needs to take more of an active role on the part of human rights. Too often human rights in countries are trampled all over and the UN sits bit idly while it happens. In effect by doing this the UN is forcing itself to examine human rights issues across the board and not just in select state. Once a country gets a bad score, then the answer stares the UN blankly in the face.

  5. I agree with Phil, that this is good because it prevents the UN from ignoring states simply because they are powerful. It is part of the responsibility to protect, not just to make sure other countries are preserving human rights, but also our own countries are preserving it as well. It is a strong move for world wide human rights, that all countries will be examined in the same way. It is a travesty to hold one nation up to a standard that we are not being held to.

    It is interesting hat China demanded the legislation that they did. It just goes to show that every good rule needs a loop hole.

  6. I agree with the above posts about how the UN getting more actively involved in human rights is a good thing. Furthermore, I agree that this is a big step forward for the human rights movement. However, every time I see something like this I am a little skeptical. This is mainly because many states say they’re for the expansion of human rights, for the prevention of genocide, for sustainable human development, or for the development of international law; but when it’s time to act they are nowhere to be seen. I think this is illustrated by China’s insistence that the UNHRC be unable to single out a country for criticism and the United States’ refusal to join the ICC. Furthermore, I don’t think any state would join the UNHRC if it had an effective enforcement mechanism to change a state’s domestic affairs on human rights beside the “politics of shame.” This is one of the reasons why the United States voted against the UNHRC: because it was too weak. Another reason might be because the United States is fearful that their record on human rights will be challenged, like Guantanamo.

    So I do believe that this is a good first step, or second step if you count the UN Commission on Human Rights. However, we have a long way to go before the UN is effectively able to stop human rights abuses.

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