Sunday, July 01, 2007

A precarious moment at the United Nations Human Rights Council

"I took a wander through the many outer rings of observer seats for diplomats whose governments beat and starve and isolate and murder their people — Iran and Sudan, North Korea and Syria. I watched the observers from Vietnam and Yemen and Venezuela huddled in alphabetical proximity, waiting for the magic moment at which this U.N. body might complete its year-long procedural gestation.

They were not disappointed. Just before midnight, Council president Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico reappeared from wherever he had been closeted, strode briskly to the podium and announced (apparently with no regard for Canada’s dissenting voice) that a solution had been found. China had compromised with the European Union. The upshot was that the U.N. Human Rights Council, having fulfilled its organizational requirements, will now omit any examination of Cuba and Belarus, ignore a raft of other despots under its roof, and above all, will carry on with its single-minded focus on democratic Israel.

The day’s work was done. It was just after midnight. Smiling, cheering, clapping, almost the entire crowd in the chamber rose and gave de Alba a standing ovation. Then they filed out to the parking lot, and in a convoy of BMWs and Mercedes (the Porsche was long gone), rolling up the drive, past the thick lawns and the sturdy gates, these U.N. guardians of human rights drove off into the night."

(Via: Solomonia)


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