… and I note that the United Nations says that “The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.“
Isn’t that grand? We have a body, it meets in Geneva ~ lovely city, Geneva, if you can afford it ~ but, just who are the 47 states that are “responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe?”
Well, the UN says: “
The Council’s Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution. Seats are distributed as follows:
- African States: 13 seats
- Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats
- Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats
- Western European and other States: 7 seats
- Eastern European States: 6 seats
That’s something you. might not know about the UN. The world is divided into five regions (above). It’s a holdover from the late 1940s and early ’50s when the Cold War dominated everyone’s thinking ~ Australia, Canada, Israel and the USA and are part of the Western European and Other States Group or WEOG.
The current, as of 1 Jan 21, members are: Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, France, Gabon, Germany, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, Libya, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Senegal, Somalia, South Korea, Sudan, Togo, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. I have italicized the handful of countries in which I believe that “all human rights” are fully and fairly protected ~ that looks like six of the 47 members. Your list might have seven or eight, maybe only three or four.
My point is that the United Nations Human Rights Council is a bad, sad, joke.
My question is: why is Canada contributing to it? The Government of Canada says that “Canada actively participates as an observer at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).” Why on earth? Why do we we not stand aside and loudly and proudly shout out to the whole world our dismay that the likes of Cuba, China, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Somalia and Uzbekistan are promoting and protecting global human rights?
I am NOT anti-UN. If it didn’t already exist, flawed as it may be, I suspect we would (almost) all want to create it. But it is in dire need of reform. Canada should be a reformer; Canada should not be complicit when China and Russia are allowed to pretend that they care about anyone’s human rights. It’s 2021 and it’s bloody disgraceful.