There has been a massive disinformation campaign concerning the U.N. Human Rights Council, operated by General Assembly President Jan Eliasson, Secretary General Kofi Annan, and U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, with added muscle from Ted Turner's U.N. Foundation and financier George Soros.
Is she in her right mind? And can we please see some evidence of this "disinformation campaign" in place of these sweeping statements?
In short, nothing has changed. The newly "reformed" human rights body of the United nations will once again include countries that have no interest in protecting human rights; the regions of the world with the fewest democracies will hold 55 percent of the seats. Standing in the background lamenting U.S. nonparticipation are some, like Amnesty International's Irene Khan, who believe that the "gulag of our times" is Guantánamo -- not the Egyptian, Syrian, Iranian and Sudanese torture chambers -- and that the business of promoting human rights is best conducted with the delinquents on the inside, enjoying the privileges of the human rights club, instead of standing outside until they reform.
Sen. Frist suggests a bold new direction for the international promotion of human rights outside the United Nations. The time is ripe for such an initiative.
Bayefsky's reference to Irene Khan's comments proved to be very thought-provoking for me. If one analyzes the UN Security Council closely and looks at the members who hold veto power, can one really say they've played an active role in the maintenance of peace and security in the world? US interventions in Vietnam, East Timor, Korea, and now in Afghanistan and Iraq, prove that being a member of an entity like a UN subsidiary body or agency does not ensure that what the members set out to do will in actuality ever happen. On the one hand, it is difficult to undertake such grand endeavors but on the other hand, wielding such power should make the bearers of the power realize that they have a great responsibility upon their shoulders. Can one really say with a straight face that the UN SC veto bearing powers have played the role expected of them?
I think not.