Every November the United Nations General Assembly treats UN watchers and news hounds to a bit of theatrical absurdness unmatched almost anywhere else in the known universe. That is when the new members are chosen to serve three years on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). This year there are fourteen seats up for grabs of the total forty-seven seats to be divided amongst the different regions. Among the nations whose terms are ending are stellar rights abusers Pakistan, Venezuela and Kazakhstan. Not to fear that their absence will be sorely missed as the nations vying for their slots include Algeria, Chad, China, Cuba, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Vietnam. It is nice to know that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Some of the other current member states include Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Cuba, Mexico and the United States. The membership of the UNHRC has been a bone of contention amongst proponents of true human rights when pluralities of the nations serving on the United Nation agency presumably to protect human rights worldwide are actually some of the worst violators of human rights. The reasons behind this shortcoming are obvious when one remembers that the nations are chosen by the United Nations General Assembly, an equally notorious group of nations making up a majority of the members of this less than respectable body.
This year there will be editorials like this raising the question as to whether there is a solution to the methodology used to choose the members of the UNHRC can be rewritten in order to facilitate a body which represents nations whose reputation and records concerning respecting human rights of their own citizens are the only contenders for the UNHRC. Of course there is no magic answer as even if there were a set of conditions which would guarantee such choices, they would not be acceptable by a majority of the nations which make up the General Assembly and would never be acceptable to all the permanent veto wielding members of the Security Council thus there is no body within the United Nations which would agree to such restrictions being imposed. So, until the world matures and evolves hopefully towards greater respect of our fellow humans and a higher respect for everybody’s human rights, then we will be left with a very suspect group presumably responsible for judging the human rights records and actions of the rest of the world. And this will result in the UNHRC continuing to persecute Israel primarily and to such an extent as to be beyond ridicule and utterly preposterous. Yet, we can pretty much count on the fact that the UNHRC is extremely unlikely to waste even a minute of their precious time considering the possible human rights violations in Syria, Egypt, Mali, or countless other places currently experiencing great turmoil, civil wars or other destructive actions which produce excessive human rights abuses. Nothing to see there, what did Israel do today? That is the normative actions and there will be little change again after the new group has been chosen. Oh, there is a distinct possibility the UNHRC might take time out to condemn the United States should they decide to take a break from condemning Israel, there is always that possibility because according the UNHRC the United States and Israel are the world’s two worst serial human rights abusers and that is the one item the UNHRC has displayed complete agreement since its inception.
Beyond the Cusp