U.N. Investigates Canada and U.S. But Ignores Worst Abusers

Ms. Gay McDougall, the U.N.’s chief monitor of discrimination against minority groups, and a leading defender of the 2001 Durban conference, just wrapped up a 10-day investigation of Canada by accusing it of failures and “significant and persistent problems.”

Interestingly, McDougall has never investigated any of the countries listed by Freedom House as the world’s worst human rights abusers: not China, Cuba, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Burma, Chinese-ruled Tibet, South Ossetia in Georgia, Chechnya in Russia, or Zimbabwe.

While it’s perfectly legitimate to hold free societies accountable, the reality is that immigrants of every color and creed rightly seek out Canada as a haven of tolerance, equality and opportunity.

UN Watch launched a protest against this U.N. official’s skewed set of priorities: picking on the most tolerant countries like Canada — possibly as U.N. payback for Ottawa being the first of 10 Western governments to pull out of the world body’s ill-fated Durban II conference — while she consistently turns a blind eye to the world’s worst abusers. Our action sparked more than a dozen news articles, columns, and editorials across Canada that cited UN Watch’s protest — including in the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, and Calgary Herald. This National Post editorial is a powerful piece worth reading.

In a related development, the U.N. human rights office is also investigating the United States as a country of singular concern. The “special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing” has decided to conduct her next investigation in the U.S., particularly in New York City.

Writing in the Opinio Juris blog, Professor Julian Ku of Hofstra Law School notes that the U.N. monitor “is going to spend her time on a country which is unlikely to be in the top ten places with lack of adequate housing, and which in any event, is not a party to any of the treaties which form her mandate.”

But the anti-Western voting blocs that control the U.N. Human Rights Council — and appoint its experts — will no doubt be very pleased.

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