The UN Human Rights Council has been elected, should we be excited? Not really...
The countries who are now new members of the council are:
Cameroon, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Belgium, Djibouti, China, Hungary, Mexico, Norway, Kenya, Jordan, Russian Federation, Uruguay, United States, Mauritius, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Senegal
The council was created about 3 years ago to replace the Human Rights Commission which basically ended up as the butt en of many jokes and had no credibility. I'm pretty sure that this council is heading very much in the same direction since many member countries are known for their lack of respect for Human Rights.
The US, whose recent track record has been put into question and who had boycotted the Council under Pres. Bush, was elected with over 90% of votes in their favor. Russia, despite the death of many opposition politicians was also elected. I find it amazing that a lot of these countries ran unopposed, Human Rights' violators such as China, Saudi Arabia and Cuba ran unopposed.
In a recent report on Reteurs the EU states that they have made no progress on Human Rights dealings with Cuba and that the EU will most likely put sanctions back in place in an upcoming vote. When asked about their position towards the EU and Human Rights, Cuba had this to say:
""Cuba is ready to normalize* relations, to establish a new start in the relationships between the European Union and Cuba," Rodriguez said.
He said the common EU position on Cuba, with its emphasis on human rights criticism, was "obsolete.""
*Normalization is a process whereby behaviours and ideas are made to seem "normal" through repetition, or through ideology, propaganda, etc., often to the point where they appear natural and taken for granted. (from Wikipedia)
The Czech foreign minister also said: "We came back to the issue of political prisoners in Cuba and their health, and the answer we got was that in Cuba there are no political prisoners."
The Cuban foreign minister even went so far as to say: "These are legal decisions, and not of a political nature. The Cuban penal system fully complies with all standards in this domain."
This, my dear readers, is what the UN Human Rights Council made up of: Human Rights violators, propagandists, liars and cheaters, with the few exceptions that must be the voice of reason and the voting majority of this council if it is to become credible and viable. If not, I fear that this UN initiative, like so many before will be doomed to crash and burn.