Archive for the ‘UNHRC’ category

Trump Admin To Boycott U.N. Council Over Anti-Israel Agenda

March 20, 2017

Trump Admin To Boycott U.N. Council Over Anti-Israel Agenda, Washington Free Beacon, March 20, 2017

UN PHOTO / Jess Hoffman via Wiki Commons

“The argument that the U.S. has to participate in bodies like the United Nations Human Rights Council or risk losing our influence over it is ridiculous,” said one senior administration official familiar with the boycott. “The UNHRC is, like its predecessor, morally bankrupt and the only good news is that its actions have little practical effect in the real world. We’ve wasted enough time and money on it.”

The declaration signals a vast departure from the Obama administration, which, in its final days in office, helped craft and garner support for a fiercely anti-Israel resolution. The Obama administration’s efforts, which were widely condemned by Israel and U.S. pro-Israel groups, broke with decades of U.S. policy when it promoted this effort.

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The Trump administration will boycott the United Nation’s Human Rights Council, or UNHRC, due to its efforts to advance an anti-Israel agenda, according to senior administration officials familiar with the effort who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

The UNHRC, which includes member countries cited for mass human rights abuses, is poised on Monday to adopt at least five anti-Israel resolutions, prompting outrage in the Trump administration over what officials described as the council’s unjust bias against the Jewish state.

The action on these items has prompted the Trump administration to boycott the council and refuse to attend the Monday meeting, according to administration officials apprised of the situation who spoke with the Free Beacon.

The boycott comes on the heels of the resignation of a Jordanian U.N. official who had sought to advance an anti-Israel agenda opposed by the United Statesand other nations.

Trump administration officials said the increased pressure on the U.N. is part of a larger effort by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley to significantly reform the international organization and root out those who use it as a platform to push anti-Israel initiatives.

On Monday, the UNHRC is set to consider an agenda known as the “human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” It is said to include several anti-Israel declarations that the Trump administration fiercely objects to.

Senior Trump administration officials who spoke to the Free Beacon said the upcoming resolutions affirm the U.N.’s unacceptable bias against Israel, which remains the only member nation that has specific agenda items aimed against it.

The efforts to criticize Israel threaten the council’s credibility and are said to have motivated the Trump administration to boycott Monday’s meeting.

Haley and other senior administration officials have determined that this anti-Israel bias must be addressed before the U.S. rejoins the council and gives it legitimacy, according to sources.

The Trump administration told the Free Beacon it is fully committed to voting against “every resolution” targeting Israel and that it will encourage allies to do the same.

“The argument that the U.S. has to participate in bodies like the United Nations Human Rights Council or risk losing our influence over it is ridiculous,” said one senior administration official familiar with the boycott. “The UNHRC is, like its predecessor, morally bankrupt and the only good news is that its actions have little practical effect in the real world. We’ve wasted enough time and money on it.”

The declaration signals a vast departure from the Obama administration, which, in its final days in office, helped craft and garner support for a fiercely anti-Israel resolution. The Obama administration’s efforts, which were widely condemned by Israel and U.S. pro-Israel groups, broke with decades of U.S. policy when it promoted this effort.

Newly installed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated recently that the United States intends boycott the UNHRC until it implements much needed reforms, chiefly its anti-Israel bias.

The latest move is meant to bolster this policy and send a message that the UNHRC’s bias against Israel must cease before the U.S. considers the group legitimate.

The Trump administration intends to vote against every U.N. resolution against Israel and will urge other nations to do the same, according to officials.

The administration also is pushing other nations to criticize the UNHCR’s anti-Israel bias and promote significant reforms.

Iran Bolsters Itself with UN Resolution Condemning Sanctions

September 27, 2015

Iran Bolsters Itself with UN Resolution Condemning Sanctions, Legal Insurrection, September 26, 2015

(Please see also, Iran Openly Declares That It Intends To Violate UNSCR 2231 That Endorses The JCPOA — DM)

Protest-Sign-Against-Iran-Nuclear-Deal-Death-to-America-e1441978760141-620x435

 

I think we all know what Iran means when it speaks of political free will. In the wake of the adoption of the Iran nuclear deal, conversations about nightmare “what if” scenarios focused on America’s ability to “snap” sanctions against Iran back into place; now, Iran is trying to reframe the conversation about the use of sanctions by arguing that the use of sanctions at all will constitute a greater violation than what the sanctions are meant to punish.

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This week, Iran used its considerable muscle to launch an attack on US efforts to tamper its nuclear program and otherwise belligerent conduct in the Middle East. These efforts took the form of a proposed resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that condemns the use of sanctions against misbehaving nations as a violation of international law and fundamental human rights.

You won’t see the word “sanctions” more than three times in the resolution; instead, the drafters used the phrase “unilateral coercive measures.” From the proposed resolution:

Recognizing the universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated character of all human rights and, in this regard, reaffirming the right to development as a universal and inalienable right and an integral part of all human rights,

Expressing its grave concern at the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on human rights, development, international relations, trade, investment and cooperation,

Reaffirming that no State may use or encourage the use of any type of measure, including but not limited to economic or political measures, to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind,

Recognizing that unilateral coercive measures in the form of economic sanctions have far-reaching implications for the human rights of the general population of targeted States, disproportionately affecting the poor and the most vulnerable classes,

Recalling also article 1, paragraph 2, common to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which provides that, inter alia, in no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence,

1. Calls upon all States to stop adopting, maintaining or implementing unilateral coercive measures not in accordance with international law, international humanitarian law, the Charter of the United Nations and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations among States, in particular those of a coercive nature with extraterritorial effects, which create obstacles to trade relations among States, thus impeding the full realization of the rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments, in particular the right of individuals and peoples to development;

The writing goes on to demand that member states ignore calls for sanctions, and condemns the use of such “as tools of political or economic pressure against any country, particularly against developing countries, with a view to preventing these countries from exercising their right to decide, of their own free will, their own political, economic and social systems.”

I think we all know what Iran means when it speaks of political free will. In the wake of the adoption of the Iran nuclear deal, conversations about nightmare “what if” scenarios focused on America’s ability to “snap” sanctions against Iran back into place; now, Iran is trying to reframe the conversation about the use of sanctions by arguing that the use of sanctions at all will constitute a greater violation than what the sanctions are meant to punish.

This isn’t a one-off finger-in-the-air from Iran to the US. The UNHRC is a dysfunctional land of multilingual politicking, and now the most dangerous players are using their influence with the greater UN body to bolster the worst violators at the expense of what should be common sense.

More from UN Watch [emphasis mine]:

Earlier this year, the UNHRC’s infamous Consultative Group, with Saudi Arabia’s Faisal Trad then serving merely as Vice-President, successfully picked Algerian hardliner Idriss Jazairy — famous for his efforts as a former diplomat to enact a UNHRC “code of conduct” to intimidate independent human rights experts — as the new “Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures.”

Jazairy has already accused the U.S. and Europe of being leading human rights violators due to their use of sanctions against countries like Iran and Zimbabwe.

Indeed, many of the resolutions adopted at each session of the UNHRC are sponsored by Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, Algeria, and other non-democracies, and are designed to demonize the West, free market economies, individual rights, or Israel, as part of a strategy to deflect attention from council members who are guilty of subjugating women, trampling religious freedom, persecuting gays, oppressing ethnic minorities and promoting relgious extremism.

This is clever, and part of a bigger strategy meant to counter American and Israeli efforts to speak out against the Iran nuclear deal. Even in the US, the media’s narrative has taken a subtle shift, away from the back and forth in Congress and toward an optic that frames the deal in terms of what it can do to encourage the advent of greater global cooperation. WaPo on Friday published an article needling the Republican Congress’ apparent rejection of “multilateralism”; meanwhile, the NYT editorial board executed a hard pivot away from the political theatre of the moment and toward What We Really Need to be Talking About© in terms of America’s participation in Gulf state politics.

The United Nations itself isn’t necessarily an important player in the American political conversation; international law is obscure, and multilateral relationships are [a] complication and confusing at best. However, if this resolution is adopted (and even if it isn’t) I can just about guarantee that the pro-Iran Deal crowd will use it as a weapon against anti-Deal candidates (primary season doesn’t go away just because we’re dealing with something happening in Geneva) currently warning their colleagues against the folly of attempting to deal with a nation that has proven itself more than adept at sidestepping the rules.

In this case, they’ve taken it upon themselves to rewrite them.

You can read the full proposed resolution here.