“A ‘rigged’ election with no competition”

UN General Assembly Elects More Brutal Regimes to Join Sham Human Rights Council

By —— Bio and Archives--October 15, 2018

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UN General Assembly Elects More Brutal Regimes to Join Sham Human Rights Council
Double standards may not be enough to describe what has become of the United Nations. In some ways, it has no standards at all. This was demonstrated very clearly by last week’s UN General Assembly vote for new members to join the inaptly named Human Rights Council.


“A ‘rigged’ election with no competition,”

Eighteen states, selected by five regional groups, ran for the eighteen available seats – “a ‘rigged’ election with no competition,” as UN Watch described it.  The newly “elected” countries include such human rights abusing countries as Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, and Somalia. The United States received one vote in the secret ballot. We do not know who cast that vote, but it certainly was not the United States, which wisely withdrew from this travesty of an organization.

UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251 established the criteria for membership in the Human Rights Council, which includes upholding “the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.” The General Assembly has consistently ignored this requirement for membership eligibility. Spokespersons for both UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés turned aside questions on whether the Secretary General and General Assembly president respectively should speak out against the election of such obvious human rights abusing countries to the Human Rights Council. It is a matter for the 193 member states of the United Nations to decide, they both said. Their silence in the face of a moral outrage is deafening.

Cameroon is a case in point. UN Watch listed its serious human rights violations, including arbitrary and unlawful killings, torture, abuse and disappearances by security forces, trafficking in persons, arbitrary detention and life-threatening prison conditions, and violations of freedom of expression and assembly. Cameroon has been ruled by the same dictator, President Paul Biya, for 36 years. Government forces have been accused of outrageous violence against protesters seeking autonomy in the country’s Anglophone region as well as against civilians, including massacres, rapes, torture and burning of villages.

Brutal autocratic regimes are still welcome to what has become the home of human rights abusing countries

A video has surfaced showing members of the armed forces executing point-blank a woman, a child and a baby accused of being members of Boko Haram. At the United Nations, Cameroon “voted for a resolution denying countries the right to sanction regimes that abuse human rights,” according to UN Watch. Nevertheless, not only did Cameroon win a seat on the UN Human Rights Council without any competition. It garnered more votes than Denmark, which was one of only eight candidate countries deemed qualified to serve on the Human Rights Council by UN Watch. Cameroon received 176 votes. Denmark received 167 votes. Somalia, another egregious human rights abusing country, received 170 votes. We will not know which of the 193 member states voted for and against these countries, since the vote is taken by secret ballot.

In 2006, the General Assembly replaced the Commission on Human Rights with the Human Rights Council. The old Commission’s credibility had declined over the years as some of the worst human rights violators in the world (such as Sudan) assumed the prestigious chair originally held by Eleanor Roosevelt. But from the outset, it was clear that this new Council would remain “a table for tyrants,” in the words of former president of the Czech Republic and human rights activist Vaclav Havel. As last week’s “election” clearly shows, brutal autocratic regimes are still welcome to what has become the home of human rights abusing countries.


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Joseph A. Klein, CFP United Nations Columnist -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Joseph A. Klein is the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom.

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