Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The next time you hear a politician suggest taking it the UN

The news from Darfur is awful. People are suffering and dying.

People everywhere else are improperly silent about the ineptness and corruption of the international agencies that are expected to respond (including the UN, the OAU, the EU and you name it). Here is what The Economist (April 7) reports about the UN's (new and improved) Human Rights Council:

The UN adrift on human rights

“WE WANT a butterfly,” John Bolton, then America's
ambassador to the United Nations, said a year ago when explaining his country's
rejection of plans to replace the UN's High Commission on Human Rights with a
leaner and supposedly more credible Human Rights Council. “We don't intend to
put lipstick on a caterpillar and call it a success.” Mr Bolton, now in enforced
retirement from the UN, may feel vindicated as the ludicrously painted creature
creeps along, seemingly doomed never to metamorphose and take

In its fourth regular session, which ended in Geneva on March
30th, the 47-member council again failed to address many egregious human-rights
abuses around the world. Even in the case of Darfur, on which one of its own
working groups had produced a damning report, it declined to criticise the
Sudanese government directly for orchestrating the atrocities, limiting itself
to an expression of “deep concern”. Indeed, in its nine months of life, the
council has criticised only one country for human-rights violations, passing in
its latest session its ninth resolution against Israel.

This obsession with bashing Israel and turning a blind eye to
so much else has disappointed those who hoped that the new council might perform
better than its predecessor. Now alarm is growing that its anti-Israel bias is
going to be compounded by an excessive zeal to defend the good name of
religions, and especially that of Islam, at the expense of free speech.

Why do such agencies exist? Why do sane people fund them?

They promote the agendas of some awful regimes. They allow large numbers of civil servants to live, work and play in some swank cities. And they make it possible for the high-minded set get to feel good about themselves for being internationalist-cosmopolitan-multilateralist, etc.

They do nothing for victims of genocide and kleptocracy.