Vindication, Of Sorts

by Joshua Foust on 2/29/2008 · 1 comment

Louise ArbourNo matter what a certain director at a certain think tank-slash-NGO may think, it appears I am not the only one who thought Louise Arbour was a particularly incompetent advocate for human rights:

On her watch, the UN has ended human rights monitoring in Cuba and Belarus and has failed to hold the Chinese regime accountable for its gross human rights violations. In fact, in January of this year, Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted her as lauding Beijing’s commitment to human rights.

Ms. Arbour drew criticism again this month when, in the wake of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s resignation, she chose to praise the regime for demonstrating “unprecedented positive engagement with the U.N. human rights system,” rather than using the occasion to blast the communist regime for its violations of fundamental freedoms and liberties and its cruel, inhumane treatment of prisoners of conscience.

Not to mention her office’s curious silence over Darfur. Well, at least she’s gone now. Even so: what a hollow victory. Naïve it may be, but I pray the next OHCHR can achieve some lasting good in the hellholes of this earth, and not just the usual old Jew-baiting and utterly meaningless gesticulations of hope in the face of rampant brutality.

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 1 comment }

Horin March 2, 2008 at 7:44 am

According to Xinhua news, “The U.N.’s top human rights official Louise Arbour has expressed her thanks to the Chinese government for its recent donation to her office”.
And she also said “China’s donation was not only a contribution to important human rights activities, but also a demonstration of China’s commitment to the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. She didn’t forget to call “on other countries to follow China’s suit and actively support the world human rights cause”.

I’m not sure whether it’s politically correct that OHCHR receives the donation from member countries, but it must be the very problem that OHCHR, which should promote and protect human rights, was donated from China, the country which is notorious for frequently violating human rights.

Do we have to “follow China’s suit”?

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