Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Vaclav Havel critical of human rights horse trading

Vaclav Havel has a timely op-ed in the New York times about the failings of the UN Human Rights Council.

It's called "A Table for Tyrants" but New Zealand still comes in for some criticism:

Now, it seems, principle has given way to expediency. Governments have resumed trading votes for membership in various other United Nations bodies, putting political considerations ahead of human rights. The absence of competition suggests that states that care about human rights simply don’t care enough. Latin America, a region of flourishing democracies, has allowed Cuba to bid to renew its membership. Asian countries have unconditionally endorsed the five candidates running for their region’s five seats — among them, China and Saudi Arabia.

In past years, Western countries encouraged rights-respecting states from other regions to compete for election. This year, they have ceded the high ground by presenting a non-competitive slate for the council elections. New Zealand withdrew when the United States declared its candidacy, leaving just three countries — Belgium, Norway and the United States — running for three seats.

1 comment:

giordano bruno said...

Havel famously celebrated the ascendency of Capital over CPE as a return to "normal" society.
Nornall is as normal does