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Resources updated between Monday, February 27, 2006 and Sunday, March 05, 2006

March 3, 2006

Members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and their allies, once again derail consultations on a draft Comprehensive Convention Against Terrorism. The UN is still unable to define terrorism or adopt this convention. The roadblock is clearly a result of the fact that the OIC is in a position to hold the General Assembly hostage.

Unofficial transcript of the Meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Convention Against Terrorism, March 3, 2006 Development

Jan Eliasson

The old Pandora's box argument, dragged out at UN conferences galore after the result has become so bad that democracies want to give up for all the wrong reasons.

Remarks of the President of the General Assembly on the Human Rights Council Document

Kofi Annan

Secretary-General Annan prefers creating a Human Rights Council over the objections or without the support of the United States. The United States has reminded us all that the main problem with the UN Human Rights Commission was its membership and this proposed Council contains not one substantive membership criterion. One thing about this debacle over a discredited Council to replace a discredited Commission - it is clarifying the anti-Americanism shot through UN-led multilateralism.

Remarks of the Secretary-General to the Press on the Human Rights Council Document

March 2, 2006

Mary Robinson

The former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights rails against Ambassador Bolton's opposition to the proposed Human Rights Council. Why? In the midst of the commentary comes: "the United States can no longer claim to be the standard bearer on human rights. Its authority on such matters is much weaker due to post-9/11 Bush administration policies." This isn't about fixing the UN Human Rights Commission. This is about creating a new UN human rights body which will do America harm from the bully pulpit of the UN wearing the mantle of human rights. The UN human rights system today: from a first Commission headed by Eleanor Roosevelt to believing that the United States is the enemy of human rights. Cutting through all the nonsense about the improved Council now on the table, the facts are very plain: (a) there is not a single substantive criteria required of states to belong and (b) entitlement is based only on geography with the regions of the world with the worst human rights records getting increased proportional membership while the greatest reduction in membership is assigned to the Western regional group.

Human rights: A needed UN reform Article

The wrong approach to the wrong approach. How anti-Americanism masquerades as concern for human rights and results in a litany of misinformation. Misrepresentation (1): Nothing prevents regional groups from putting forward only the number of candidates which would fill their regional quota. Consider who is doing the electing "individually". Is the "Group of 77 plus China", comprising 132 of the UN's 191-member General Assembly, going to vote against the countries on any agreed slate from the African and Asian regions? Misrepresentation (2): A review of a human rights record conducted after the election is all over will be a "powerful deterrent". Who is conducting the review? The same countries that can't adopt a resolution criticizing Sudan's human rights record in November of 2005, or have not adopted a resolution critical of human rights abuses in China, Saudi Arabia or Zimbabwe - ever. There is no likelihood of a strong statement about actual human rights violations in virtually any UN state (except Israel) in a report which will be authored by this new Council. Misrepresentation (3): The one-third of the membership required to deal with human rights crises would translate into emergency sessions on Darfur. Hello. It would translate into emergency sessions on Guantanamo, the Danish cartoon "offence", and Israel, Israel and more Israel. (There have been ten emergency sessions of the General Assembly in its history, and six have been about Israel.) But the biggest lie of all is what's bad for America is good for human rights. It's almost enough to say let the vote happen and the U.S. vote against. The EU (and the rest of the Western regional group) - who will have their representation proportionally reduced and end up with a whopping 7 seats out of 47 - will have reaped the UN body they deserve.

The wrong approach to rights? Article

Jan Eliasson

Anti-Americanism at the UN General Assembly. U.S. concerns to create a credible UN human rights body are merely "national." Of course, everybody else is just thinking of the greater good. Eliasson is in good company - with Cuba for instance, who said much the same thing yesterday.

States should transcend national concerns to agree on Human Rights Council: Eliasson Article

Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian UN platform once again serves as a mouthpiece for terrorism. This time Mahmoud Abbas on the benefits of "unrelenting armed struggle". In his words: "The PLO and the Palestinian revolution could not have survived and overcome the many attempts to crush them had the PLO not undertaken, side by side with its unrelenting armed struggle, courageous political initiatives that imparted a qualitative impetus to the Palestinian cause, rallying enormous support both regionally and internationally."

Letter from the Palestinian observer to the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council with speech of President Mahmoud Abbas delivered at the second Palestinian Legislative Council Development

March 1, 2006

'Iran Declined' Article

February 28, 2006

Alvaro de Soto

Alvaro de Soto, "United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority," worries about: "There was a danger that cutting off assistance prior to that date might be interpreted by Palestinians and the Arab world as punishment of the Palestinian people for the way in which they had voted on 25 January." I guess the UN would prefer to reward the Palestinian people for voting for a party whose platform is the annihilation of its Jewish neighbor.

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the Secretary-General's Special Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority briefs Security Council (press release) Development

Jan Eliasson

Secretary-General Kofi Annan and General Assembly President Jan Eliasson push forward over U.S. objections, turning the draft which abolishes the UN Human Rights Commission and substitutes a Human Rights Council into an "L document" - a draft resolution which can be brought to a vote at any time.

Draft resolution submitted by the President of the General Assembly on a Human Rights Council Document

The Palestinian UN delegation is well versed in manipulating the UN platform to serve as the conduit for hate speech by any other name. Now the story goes, the Palestinian people are not responsible all by themselves for electing an anti-semitic government with an explicit agenda of killing Jews, but the Jews are "unilaterally" responsible for failing to assist them in doing so. Here the Palestinian delegation issues a UN document claiming "The unilateral decision taken by the Israeli Government to withhold money belonging to the PNA is not only condemnable but will have devastating consequences throughout the region."

Letter from the Palestinian observer to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council regarding Israel's freezing the transfer of funds" Development

February 27, 2006

Kofi Annan

Now if only talk of the benefits of dialogue over "armed struggle" (explicitly incorporated into Organization of the Islamic Conference and Arab League treaties) were directed at, say, Iranian President Ahmedinejad or Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh, Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hassan Yousef, Mohammed Abu Tir, Jamila Shanti, Mohammed Deif, Khalid Meshal, Mousa Abu Marzook, or Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, or.....

Statement by the Secretary-General at the opening session of the second meeting of the high-level group for the Alliance of Civilizations Development