Archive for the 'Right to Peace' Category

The Proliferation of “Human Rights”- A Dictator’s Best Friend

This month at the UN saw the discussion of three seemingly “human rights” declarations – one on the Right to Peace, one on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas, and one on the Right of Peoples and Individuals to International Solidarity. But why are they unable to garner consensus? And why do so many democracies criticize them either for their lack of clarity, or their outright uselessness?

In a UN meeting on the Right to Peace, several democracies expressed concerns that trying to define such a right would possibly be dangerous to human rights, that it is too vague, that in fact the Right to Peace cannot be recognized as either an individual right or as a collective one, and that it does not reflect any international principles enshrined in the UN Charter.

In a meeting on the Right of Peasants, similar concerns were expressed. The EU stated that it is not convinced that a declaration is the best way forward, that the existing normative framework is sufficient to protect human rights and that the problem is one of implementation. South Korea also had “strong reservations” on whether it was really needed.

The Declaration on International Solidarity is no more promising, containing an array of watery phrases like:

Continue reading ‘The Proliferation of “Human Rights”- A Dictator’s Best Friend’

UN rights council meets on Syrian-backed “right to peace” initiative

rt to peace

 

A Syrian-backed declaration on the “right to peace” is what a UN working group is seeking to draft during a week-long meeting at the UN Human Rights Council which opened yesterday in Geneva.

While all 193 UN member states can attend the sessions of the working group, only some 30 are attending, along with another 20 NGO activists.

Key backers of the “right to peace” include Cuba and Syria. One of the goals of such human rights violators is to erode the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle, which calls for the international community to intervene in instances of extreme human rights violations such as genocide.

The “right to peace” aims to shield the perpetrators. UN Watch has exposed how this “right” is used to shield dictatorships like Syria and to give legitimacy to terrorism. Continue reading ‘UN rights council meets on Syrian-backed “right to peace” initiative’

UN hijacked by Cuba’s “Right to peace” farce

This week the UN was diverted from real human rights problems for a week-long political exercise on the so-called “right to peace.”

Last July, Cuba presented a draft resolution on “The Right to Peace,” which recognized a “right to resist and oppose oppressive colonial foreign occupation or dictatorial domination.” We commented on it in this plenary speech:

According to experts, this could be seen as an avenue to legitimize terrorism. Countries such as Syria, Sudan, Belarus, China, Sri Lanka, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, supported the resolution, while countries such as the United States and the European Union did not. As the EU stated, they do not support the formation of the working group for many reasons including, but not limited to the fact that, “it is evident that there is no legal basis for the ‘right to peace’ in international law, either as an individual or collective right.”

Continue reading ‘UN hijacked by Cuba’s “Right to peace” farce’

U.N. Rights Body Defies U.S. with “Right to Peace” Resolution Giving Legitimacy to Terror

GENEVA, July 5 – The U.N.’s top human rights body defied the U.S. today by adopting a Cuban-led “right to peace” resolution that endorses a draft declaration (see Art. 7) calling for resistance against “foreign occupation,” for the first time granting U.N. Human Rights Council legitimization of the terminology used by Middle East extremists to justify terrorist attacks against Americans and Israelis.

Initiated by Cuba, the resolution’s co-sponsors included Syria, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Belarus, China, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua.

The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch expressed serious concerns over the text.

“The U.N. was founded on moral clarity,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, “yet today the Syrian regime, which denies its people the right to life, was allowed to join with Iran, North Korea and other tyrannies to cynically present themselves as champions of peace.” Continue reading ‘U.N. Rights Body Defies U.S. with “Right to Peace” Resolution Giving Legitimacy to Terror’

War is Peace: Assad regime wins adoption of “Right to Peace” resolution at U.N. Human Rights Council

Syria’s Assad regime has its hands full murdering its own people in Homs, Hama and Damascus. Yet somehow it managed to find time today to successfully co-sponsor a “Right to Peace” resolution, adopted today by the U.N. Human Rights Council, that endorses a draft declaration (see Art. 7) calling  for a right of “resistance,” a term used in the Middle East used to justify terrorism.

Only the U.S. had the courage to oppose the Orwellian text. Here is the U.S. statement explaining some of what’s wrong with the text. The exercise will cost over $300,000 to implement.

What the U.S. did not mention, however, is that the  resolution calls for a new declaration to be based on a draft that legitimizes terrorism.

By promoting a “right to resist and oppose oppressive colonial, foreign occupation,” the council effectively gives a nod to the “resistance” justification commonly used by Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations to launch attacks against Americans, Israelis and others.

Led by Cuba, the resolution’s co-sponsors included Syria, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Belarus, China, Palestine, Sri Lanka, as well as Venezuela and its allies Bolivia and Nicaragua.

The draft declaration was prepared by the council’s 18-member Advisory Committee, a rogues gallery that includes the pro-Ahmadinejad Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann; Jean Ziegler, co-founder of the Moammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize; and Halima Warzazi, a former defender of Saddam Hussein. Thanks to UN Watch, all three are on a congressional watchlist.

Today’s vote result: 34 in favour, 1 against (USA), and 12 abstentions (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Italy, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland).

On Orwell and the U.N.

War is Peace

UN Watch testimony delivered by Hillel Neuer before
the U.N. Human Rights Council, July 3, 2012.

Thank you, Mr. President.

This year we mark the 64th anniversary of two monumental texts.

The first is the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Three years after World War II, the founders of this council created the Universal Declaration, in response, as stated in the preamble, to atrocities that shocked the conscience of mankind. They reaffirmed that every human being has the right to life, the right to be free from torture, persecution and discrimination.

The United Nations must live up to that declaration.

Regrettably, too often in this body we are reminded of another great document from that same year: George Orwell’s classic on totalitarianism, 1984. Continue reading ‘On Orwell and the U.N.’

Upside Down U.N.: Cuba’s “Right to Peace” Resolution Supports Terror

This is how the U.N. Human Rights Council undermines the very principles it was founded to uphold. Today the Communist government of Cuba, a key backer of the Syrian mass murderer Bashar al-Assad, presented a draft resolution on “The Right to Peace.”

Not surprisingly, the resolution promotes a text by the council’s Advisory Committee which recognizes a “right to resist and oppose oppressive colonial, foreign occupation or dictatorial domination.” Experts say this can be read as legitimizing terrorism.

China, the main co-sponsor of the resolution, voiced strong support for the text. Iran also expressed support for the Cuban initiative. Russia welcomed it.

The Netherlands said “not every laudable goal can be phrased in terms of human rights”, and gave the example of the right to happiness. We need to set priorities and work on identifiable and distinguishable rights; establishing the right to peace would “come in the way of the establishing of existing rights.”

The U.S. stressed the importance of a spirit of “openness and flexibility”; we are “moving towards a divisive text rather than one that can build bridges within the Council.”