Iran in the Human Rights Council?
Iran has expressed its intention to become a member of the new UN Human Rights Council. The inaugural elections will take place in the beginning of next month. It is already a failure for the Human Rights Council that such a country can even apply for it. Iran’s human rights record is notoriously disastrous. Moreover, it has explicitly declared its intention to exterminate another state.
The main problem with that Annanian institution is that every region has a right to a certain amount of seats (for example both Africa and Asia: 13 each). The countries serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after two consecutive terms. The only hard criterion to get a seat is to be elected by the General Assembly which is of course not only composed of good guys – by far. Are there for instance actually 13 African countries (out of 54) where one can say that the situation of women is tolerable? I of course do not ask whether some nice-sounding convention on the protection of women or if another heartbreaking declaration on the rights of the child has been signed. That doesn’t matter, since it is only the factual situation that is relevant. Furthermore, at the next election round, will there be enough “good” countries eligible as substitutes on the African continent…?
The issue is in fact not to find the appropriate mechanisms to elect the right countries. The problem is that an issue like human rights is assigned to a body composed of sovereign states - many with illegitimate and dictatorial regimes ruling them and each and everyone of them having an egoistic interest not to be denounced by that body. If Iran is to be elected, then I fully agree with the FrontPage magazine that the U.S. should withdraw its entire support for the Council and that its funds must be cut – from the very beginning. Only then can that experiment be aborted quickly enough – or at least publicly discredited.