Resources updated between Monday, November 22, 2010 and Sunday, November 28, 2010
November 26, 2010
Canada puts the U.S. to shame Article
November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on FoxNews.com.
Just when we were beginning to get into the holiday spirit, the United Nations decided that Durban III is coming to town.
Late yesterday, the UN General Assembly's Third Committee adopted a resolution which launches another global "anti-racism" hatefest. It is intended to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the debacle held in Durban, South Africa in 2001. But this time, the UN has outdone itself: the celebration of a notorious prescription for intolerance, closely linked to Islamic extremism, is now scheduled for New York City just days after the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Like the Ground Zero mosque architects, the UN has decided to pour salt in the wounds of still grieving Americans. The crowds at Durban I held high their signs reading: "For the liberation of Quds, machine-guns based upon faith and Islam must be used," and "The martyr's blood irrigates the tree of revolution in Palestine." The obvious connection between hate and terror, or incitement to violence and violence itself, is either irrelevant to the UN or part of the plan.
The resolution was adopted 121 states for, 19 against and 35 abstentions. States voting against included the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, and most of the countries that had known Nazism at very close range: Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania.
The plans for Durban III contained in the document are much more explicit than a usual UN resolution and contradict a very active misinformation campaign already underway by the UN and closely-related individuals and organizations.
Most heads of government avoided Durban I and the only one to attend Durban II was the poster-boy for racism and xenophobia himself, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. So for Durban III, the UN decided to ensnare most heads of state and government by scheduling the event to coincide with the annual opening of the UN General Assembly, when they are all present in New York anyway. The resolution sets the date as September 21, 2011 ("the second day of the General Debate"), and specifically designates it as a "High-Level" meeting "at the level of Heads of States and Governments."
Contrary to some suggestions, the event will not be a quiet commemoration with minimal political design. Amendments made to the resolution late in the day decide that the meeting should "consist...of an opening plenary, consecutive round tables/thematic panels and a closing plenary meeting." And then the meeting will adopt a final "political declaration."
Lest anyone be delusional about which country is intended to be the first course at Durban III, the resolution pinpoints only one theme of the Declaration as the meeting's focal point, namely, "Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances: Recognition, Justice and Development." The carefully crafted Durban Declaration lists Palestinians as "Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."
Of course, as history has demonstrated time and again, the meal never ends with the Jews. The Dutch representative valiantly spelled out to the General Assembly committee a bigger picture: "The fight against racism and discrimination is of such importance that we cannot support any effort to redirect our attention towards different agendas. Unfortunately, the Durban Declaration and...Review Conference did so...by elevating the protection of religion above the protection and promotion of human rights and by placing unnecessary restrictions on the freedom of expression..."
In addition, in the resolution the UN puts out a call for help from the world of rabble-rousers who masquerade as human rights enthusiasts. Despite being fully aware of the violent extremism characterizing the NGO Forum at Durban I, the resolution asks "civil society, including NGOs" "to organize and support" 10th anniversary initiatives "with high visibility."
The Obama administration is clearly worried about the effects of Durban III on its policy of embracing the UN and its human rights apparatus. U.S. representative John Sammis spelled out their concerns, lamenting to the UN committee that the event "risks undermining the relationship we have worked hard to strengthen over the past few years between the United States and the UN."
Indeed it does.
The question now is which countries will ensure that their heads of state and of government will not participate in such an outrage. The United States and Israel walked out of Durban I in disgust.
Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, and the United States refused to participate in Durban II.
With 19 votes against and another 35 democracies concerned enough to abstain, it is time to send an even more powerful and permanent message to the UN about Durban and its progeny.
Last night U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called on the Obama administration to "announce publicly, right now, that we will stay away from Durban III, deny it U.S. taxpayer dollars, and oppose all measures that seek to facilitate it. And we should encourage other responsible nations to do the same."
Unfortunately, comments made by U.S. representative Sammis last evening suggest that the Obama administration will again refuse to take a leadership role in denying legitimacy to the Durban agenda. At Durban II, President Obama pulled out less than 48 hours before the event, ruining chances of building a larger coalition of like-minded states.
Sammis said only: "The poor choice of time and venue for the 10th anniversary commemorative event places a premium on the need for all participants to put forth genuine, good-faith efforts to ensure that this event focuses on the substantive issues at stake in the global fight against racism, and that it does not become a forum for politicization, or efforts that run counter to mutual respect and fundamental human rights."
Ignoring the writing on the UN walls will not make it disappear. According to the resolution adopted, Durban III will end with a "political declaration aimed at mobilizing political will...for the full...implementation of the Durban Declaration..." It is irrevocably a forum for politicization that runs counter to mutual respect and fundamental rights. Ahmadinejad, who is certain to accept the invitation for a repeat performance, understands that. Why doesn't President Obama?
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on FoxNews.com.
Over in Turtle Bay, the U.N. General Assembly is now wrapping up its key fall session. After taking a good hard look at human rights violations around the globe, it has come to the following conclusions about the world's ills: In 2010, eighty percent of all its condemnations of alleged human rights abuses – twenty-one resolutions – will have been directed at Israel alone.
The Assembly will also finish the year having decided that only six more of the 192 U.N. member states raise human rights concerns. Warranting a single resolution each are Afghanistan, Burma, Georgia, Iran, North Korea, and the United States.
This astonishing result percolates up primarily from the General Assembly's main committees, such as the third committee on humanitarian affairs and the fourth committee on decolonization which finish their business before Thanksgiving. All U.N. members sit in each of these committees, so that over the past two months a thousand diplomats have huddled in meetings and churned out documents, speeches, webcasts and press releases.
All these busy bees, however, could not manage to come up with a single resolution about the horrors in Sudan – where reports of government forces killing and raping civilians in Darfur continue to surface. Tens of thousands have fled in fear this year alone, while humanitarian relief is deliberately impeded by the government in Khartoum.
Nor did the General Assembly think Haiti warranted a resolution, though the U.N. is at the center of recent riots amid claims that its peacekeepers have fueled the cholera epidemic already affecting eighteen thousand residents.
The billion Chinese without elementary civil and political rights went unnoticed.
Millions of Saudi women, trapped in their homes at the will of their male guardians, were forgotten. And no mention was made of the other myriad number of non-democracies and human rights basket cases where torture, female genital mutilation and gross violations of every kind are routine.
The virtual ban on country-specific human rights resolutions – except when it comes to demonizing the Jewish state – is a result of a theory of international human rights protection that has taken the U.N. by storm. It goes by many names, such as "non-selectivity," "impartiality," "objectivity," and "de-politicization." "Naming and shaming" used to be considered an important tool for encouraging change.
At the Assembly last week, Sudan described the prevailing view of this now out-of-vogue idea. Too "negative" they called it. Today, it's all about "constructive dialogue."
Every U.N. diplomat, of course, can translate this babble. "Non-selectivity" means don't select my state, or any of my pals, for criticism. "Politicization" means any politics that is not in sync with my state's politics is unacceptable. The game is really an old Soviet trick for avoiding scrutiny and criticism, which Islamic states and dictatorships everywhere have fully embraced.
The problem is that Western governments have recently fallen for this nonsense too. Only two weeks ago the Obama administration sat in the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva and allowed the United States and its human rights record to be ridiculed by some of the world's most notorious abusers – in the name of even-handedness.
A few days later, on November 9, the Council followed-up by presenting the administration with a list of recommended reforms, itemized together with the proud sponsors. They included: "end all forms of racial discrimination" (Libya); "ensure the implementation of U.S. obligations under international humanitarian law..." (Iran); "end excessive use of force by law enforcement bodies" (China); and "ban torture and other ill-treatment in U.S. detention facilities" (North Korea).
How did the Obama administration react to this travesty? Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, told the assembled: "The work of this very Council is very close to the history and culture of our country." -- A rolling-over-in-the-grave moment for Founding Fathers, if there ever was one.
Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is the only senator to insist on an annual accounting of all the money U.S. taxpayers send to the U.N. every year. He finally extracted the information for the fiscal year 2009: $6.35 billion, or about 23% of the U.N.'s budget from all sources.
Isn't it about time our dollars were put to better use?
Draft, as orally revised, was adopted with 121 votes in favor, 19 against and 35 abstentions.
Draft was adopted with 76 votes in favor, 64 against and 42 abstentions.
Draft was adopted with 162 votes in favor, 7 against and 3 abstentions.
Draft Resolution of the GA Second Committee entitled "Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources" Development
Monday, November 22, 2010
The Obama administration joined the UN Human Rights Council in one of its first foreign policy moves. As justification for what it labeled "principled engagement and strategic multilateralism," top administration officials pointed to the Council's new Universal Periodic Review (UPR) system. They called the UPR a "good mechanism" (Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of State) and "an important change" (Koh, State Department, Legal Advisor).
On Friday, November 5, 2010, senior American representatives went to Geneva to participate in the first UPR-review by the Council of the human rights record of the United States.
See for yourselves what the Obama administration foreign policy looks like in action: a human rights fraud for political ends.
On November 10, 2010, the UN "Human Rights" Council was engaged in another of its infamous "universal periodic reviews" - this time about human rights protection by Lebanon. For the occasion, Lebanon had produced a report objecting to the creation of the state of Israel.
Israel pointed out that, contrary to protecting human rights, Lebanon was actively hosting and collaborating with a terrorist organization.
But here is how the UN "human rights" world responded: