ShareThis Page

The U.N. Human Rights Council: Warped definition

| Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

That the United States remains a United Nations Human Rights Council member after the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday elected China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia — four of the world's worst human-rights violators — to HRC seats is a travesty of policy that mocks America's supposed human-rights leadership.

President George W. Bush rightly declined U.S. membership when the council was created in 2006. President Obama accepted U.S. membership as a chance to reform the HRC from within. But as Claudia Rosett, journalist-in-residence at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, tells The Washington Free Beacon, reform hasn't occurred — and council seats only provide human-rights violators with legitimacy and opportunity to “warp the basic definition of human rights.”

The HRC's advocacy of free-speech bans under the guise of fighting racism and blasphemy and its repeated condemnations of democratic Israel show what an oxymoron its name is. That makes oppressive China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia perfect fits for a body that in truth despises human rights: they deprive government critics, religious and ethnic minorities, women, human-rights organizations and average citizens of basic liberties as a way of life.

Such dictatorial regimes are emboldened, not deterred, by the U.S. sitting among them on the Human Rights Council. Until and unless the Obama administration renounces U.S. membership on the council — or, better, U.N. membership — America will keep playing the reprobates' game to their advantage.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.