Thursday, April 28, 2011

Will Syria Join the UNHRC?

United Nations Watch has put together a coalition of human rights groups to oppose the election of Syria to the United Nations 'Human Rights Council.' Elections are scheduled for May 20. Syria is running unopposed.

Led by UN Watch, an independent human rights monitoring group based in Geneva, the coalition of rights groups from Africa, Asia, the U.S. and Europe, (see list of members below) also urged action from the UN Security Council and other international bodies to protect Syria's civilian population from government actions that it said may amount to "war crimes and crimes against humanity."

The election of 15 new council members is scheduled for May 20 at the UN General Assembly in New York. However, UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said that "if the council this week declares President Bashar al-Assad unwelcome as a member, it would sound the death knell for Syria's cynical candidacy to be elected a global judge of human rights."

The coalition called for leadership from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton, Ban Ki-moon, and UN rights chief Navi Pillay.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that leadership. On the other hand, you all know that I believe Syria would fit right in at the 'Human Rights Council' anyway.

What's perhaps more intriguing in Neuer's efforts is this.

Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey was asked to convene the high contracting parties to the Geneva Conventions to address the Syrian army's grave assault on thousands of civilians who are protected as non-combatants under the treaties.

That's a nice idea but there are two small problems with it. First, Calmy-Rey is a loon who's enamored with Bashar al-Assad's friend Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The odds of her convening this type of meeting to condemn Assad are not good.

Second, if such a meeting were to be convened, I would bet on the agenda being hijacked to discuss Israel - and more specifically the Goldstone Report.

What could go wrong?

Labels: Bashar al-Assad, Geneva Convention, Goldstone Report, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Micheline Calmy-Rey, Operation Cast Lead, Syria, Syrian uprising, United Nations Human Rights Council, United Nations Watch

posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 11:36 AM

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