What makes the United Nations tick? Does any one know? I’m not talking about the billions of U.S. tax dollars that keep the organization afloat. I’m talking about what motivates it, what drives it. It sure seems to me that everything America stands for, the U.N. is against. Now, the U.N. has taken yet another step in the wrong direction with its collection of countries that make up its so-called Human Rights Council. Free nations are now in the minority on the council.
As reported by CNSNews.com, “Among the 15 countries to win seats on the Geneva-based HRC (Human Rights Council) on Friday was Congo, which joins 11 other countries ranked ‘not free’ by the democracy advocacy group, Freedom House, based on an annual assessment of political freedoms and civil liberties.”
The Human Rights Council consists of 47 member nations. A portion of the seats are determined by an election each May. That’s right, nations can campaign to be on the council, and the only determining factor is whether they get enough votes. I can hear it now, “Vote for me, or I’ll kill you.” Some process, eh? With the recent election, only 21 of the 47 member nations are considered free.
So who is on the premier council that polices human rights around the world? This list will give you some idea: China, Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Pakistan, and Congo.
According to a press release by Freedom House issued before last Friday’s elections, the organization stated, “the Republic of Congo stands out as the candidate with the worst domestic human rights record.” Freedom House noted that “the lack of competition within the Africa groups makes it extremely unlikely that it will not receive the minimum number of votes necessary to gain a seat.” Congo won, and it is now on the council.
States running for membership on the Council must receive at least 97 affirmative votes by the full UNGA in order to be elected. Each of the five regional groups is allotted a number of seats proportional to the number of countries in the region. Seventeen candidates are competing this year for fifteen open seats on the Council. Three of the five regional groups–Asia, Africa and the Western Europe and Other Group (WEOG)–have put forward clean slates, in which only the number of candidates necessary to fill the available seats will compete.
“The continued prevalence of clean slates in the Council elections negates the intended competitive nature of an election and makes it far too easy for human rights abusers to ascend to a body tasked with promoting and protecting human rights,” said Paula Schriefer, director of advocacy at Freedom House.
So, a country with a horrible human rights record can not only run unopposed in its region, but will likely win. This is beyond crazy, and we are paying for it.
Here is the composition of the Human Rights Council for the upcoming year as compiled by CNSNews.com:
Free Countries(21): Austria, Benin, Belgium, Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, United States and Uruguay.
Not free (12): Angola, Cameroon, China, Congo, Cuba, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya (currently suspended), Mauritania, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia.
Partly free (14):Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Ecuador, Guatemala, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Moldova, Nigeria, Philippines, Senegal, Uganda, Thailand.
The list is quite amazing, and we continue to pay for it. Perhaps our contributions to the U.N. rank as but a blip in the overall U.S. budget, but the symbolism of cutting back would be tremendous. There is no reason to fund an organization that does not represent American values. I wonder how the U.N. would act if they saw their money disappear?