Wed, Feb 23, 2011 | The Dry Bones Blog | By Yaakov Kirschen | Edited by Crethi Plethi
Libya and UN’s Human Rights Policy
Yup. In January of 2003 the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations elected the ambassador of Gaddaffi’s Libya to be its president.
The vote was 33 to 3 in favor.
January 21, 2003: The UN Human Rights Commission elected the Libyan ambassador Najat al-Hajjaji its president yesterday, overriding a US objection that her country’s “horrible” record disqualified it for the post.
The African Union’s candidate, she received 33 votes. The US, Canada and … Guatemala voted against her, and 17 abstained.
“It is especially sad today when America celebrates the birthday of Martin Luther King, a champion of human rights, that a nation which flaunts human rights abuses, would be elected chair,” the US ambassador, Kevin Moley, said to reporters. (Source: Guardian)
Note: When the Libyan ambassador was elected by the UN Human Rights commission, southern Sudanese were enslaved in Sudan. Some of these slaves ended up in Libya and were sold into bondage. The Libyan government did not put a stop to these practices. Not then, not now. How could a nation that did not actively prevent the sale of slaves be permitted to chair the UN Commission on Human Rights? Furthermore, how could a nation that did not ratify the treaty on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography be the chair of this committee? How could a nation that did not sign the UN treaty to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons begin to credibly determine human rights violations? (Source: Tommy Calvert, Jr.)
February 20/21, 2011: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called for an immediate end to violent repression of Libya protests in a press encounter on Monday night in Los Angeles on the developments in Libya. Ban Ki-Moon said he had been disturbed to see the scenes of Libyan authorities firing at demonstrators from warplanes and helicopters. “This is unacceptable,” he said. “This must stop immediately. This is a serious violation of international humanitarian law.” The Secretary-General told reporters that he had a 40-minute phone conversation earlier on Monday with Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi and urged him that human rights, including freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, must be fully protected. The Secretary-General forcefully urged Col. Qadhafi to stop violence against demonstrators, respect their human rights and heed their aspirations. Asked further about the phone conversation between the Secretary-General and Col. Qadhafi, the Spokesperson noted that the remarks made by the Colonel in the 40-minute phone conversation were similar to his recent public comments. Whatever Col. Qadhafi’s views are, he said, the violence needs to stop and human rights must be respected.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has also called for immediate cessation of the grave human rights violations committed by Libyan authorities. In a statement tuesday, she urged an independent international investigation into the violent suppression of protests in the country. Meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency (UNCHR) is increasingly concerned about dangers faced by civilians – especially asylum-seekers and refugees – as many may inadvertently be caught up in the violence in Libya in recent days. The Agency asks all countries to recognize the humanitarian needs at this time of all people fleeing targeted violence, threats and other human rights abuses in Libya.
Do you think we now see a different Gaddafi compared to 2003? I don’t think so. It’s very clear how hypocritical the United Nations is.