Frist: No to UN Human Rights Council


“The newly created U.N. Human Rights Council fails to address the significant failures and shortcomings of the widely discredited U.N. Commission on Human Rights. Since its establishment in 1946, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights sacrificed efficacy and credibility by granting membership to some of the world’s worst human rights abusers, neglecting to condemn state sponsors of terrorism, and failing to act or speak out against numerous cases of egregious human rights abuse.

“The new council makes only superficial changes to the former commission structure and falls far short of the standards envisioned by President Bush and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The new council will not prevent serial human rights abusers from gaining membership and cannot be relied upon to monitor human rights abuses throughout the world.

“I applaud the administration for opposing the creation of the new council and urge it to oppose U.S. participation in and support of the council in order to uphold America’s own credibility and deny the council unwarranted legitimacy.

“If the U.N. refuses to make meaningful changes to the council structure, the U.S. should lead a group of like-minded democracies with a demonstrated commitment to the protection of human rights to create an effective and accountable human rights oversight body outside the U.N. system. The U.S. must adhere to its principles and continue to demonstrate its commitment to meaningful reform and to the protection of human rights.”

(Emphasis mine.) Marion Edwyn Harrison, National Ledger;

It rather defies the imagination to visualize how any UN entity designed to promote human rights could do so when UN membership, and disproportionately UN leadership, consists of nations and politicians from nations which are the human-rights culprits. United States Ambassador John Bolton, with considerable (but insufficient) support from UN member nations, proposed a set of reforms that arguably would have breathed some morality and effectiveness into this new Council. Not surprisingly, the UN member majority rejected these efforts.

There now appears to be an effort to induce the Bush Administration to provide money for this new UN Council, possibly to seek a United States seat (only to be outvoted, as would happen if the inmates ran a prison).

FILED UNDER: Terrorism, United Nations, US Politics, World Politics, , , ,
Kate McMillan
About Kate McMillan
Kate McMillan is the proprietor of small dead animals, which has won numerous awards including Best Conservative Blog and Best Canadian Blog. She contributed nearly 300 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and June 2007. Follow her on Twitter @katewerk.


  1. ken says:

    When Bush changed American policy in order to employ torture the administration caused the United States to lose a lot of credibility on the issue of human rights.

    I wonder what it will take to restore our good name? Perhaps we should bring Bush to justice before we complain about other regimes employing the same tactics Bush approves for use.

  2. mechanisms says:

    The UN was was created to prevent conflicts between states – ie, to defend individual states. It should not be a surprise therefore that its mechanisms do not work well for intervening in the internal affairs of member nations.

    The problem Americans have with the UN is that they expect to be able to use the UN to protect and promote democracy and liberty which is a threat to the many memebers of the UN are not democracies.

    The solution is to recognize that the UN does not fulfill the needs of the US and create an alternative: “The United Democratic Nations.”

  3. Ralph says:

    Thanks for your 2-cents worth, Jim, but I think I’ll hang onto my pennies. I care not what course others may take, but a fool and his money are soon parted.

  4. Ralph says:

    erratum: “Jim” aka “ken”

  5. Roger Ridenour says:

    The sentiments behind Frist’s proposal would be much more effective if we ourselves did not commit torture or run gulags. Where are we going to find other “like minded democracies” to support the human rights abuses the current administration commits? I like the idea of a “United Democratic Nations” that supports traditional American values once we’ve regained them.

  6. McGehee says:

    The sentiments behind Frist�s proposal would be much more effective if we ourselves did not commit torture or run gulags.

    I may have to start yet another drinking game if you guys keep this up.

  7. Roger Ridenour says:

    The way Bush has trashed American values and squandered the moral authority we had after 9/11 is enough to drive one to drink.

  8. Best idea would be to move the UN from New York to North Korea. Let ’em try to double park on the street there.

  9. LJD says:

    The way Bush has trashed American values and squandered the moral authority we had after 9/11 is enough to drive one to drink.

    Because ‘moral authority’ is certainly represented by lying under oath.

  10. Roger says:

    So, LJD, you think 9/11 was justified and we had no moral authority in the eyes of the world when confronting Al Qaeda. I’m afraid I don’t believe in your extreme moral relativism. You’ll have to do some serious ‘splaining’ as to how it was our fault to convince me.