Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The UN Turns the World on its Head

Miguel Alfonso Martinez, a Cuban diplomat, has just been promoted from president of the Cuban Society for International Law; he will now preside over the UN's Advisory Committee to the Human Rights Council (HRC).

It is apparently not bad enough for Cuba, with its approximately 234 political prisoners (depending on the day, since Cuba has taken a fancy to arresting dozens of its opponents at a time, only to release them later without much of an uproar from the international community) to comprise part of the Council, the UN felt that the largest human rights violator per-capita in the hemisphere ought to head its reformed human rights arm.

The HRC's predecessor, the Committee for Human Rights was largely seen as insignificant and discredited, at best. At worst, it was corrupt and a puppet of human rights violators across the globe. The new and improved HRC is not proving to be far different.

It is only until the UN can fully comprehend and act upon the fact that human rights issues such as the perpetual incarceration of innocent human beings affects people and families and societies and does not serve as a political tool, that it will ever be truly respected.

For the UN to have constructed the HRC so that Cuba can take the helm of and shield itself with the very agency that is supposed to help civilians deal with brutal dictatorships (yes, among other things), is ridiculous. Furthermore, it is insulting. The daily Hell faced by 234 Cuban brothers and sisters is not an issue for political hankering. It is not something to be glossed over simply because Cuba educates its citizens.

Human rights are universal...at least I think that was the gist of the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS. It is time for the UN to take itself seriously and stop condoning the evil actions of its member states.

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