Blog Roundup #92

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Paper Chase: “EU supports UN rights council proposal despite US opposition – The 25-member European Union (EU) has issued a statement of support for a draft resolution [PDF text; JURIST report] proposing a new UN Human Rights Council to replace the generally-discredited Human Rights Commission, which has been severely criticized for not preventing rights violators from using their membership to protect one another from censure.”

Sudan Watch: “Feb 28 2006 Bloomberg report reveals the UN’s top envoy to Sudan Jan Pronk said intelligence shows there are “persons in Khartoum who were not there before,” meaning al-Qaeda terrorists who have threatened his life and would act against any UN troops, particularly non-Africans.”Jurist Forum: “The Iran Nuclear Standoff: Legal Issues – JURIST Guest Columnist Daniel Joyner of the University of Warwick School of Law in the United Kingdom says that now that Iran has been referred to the UN Security Council over its nuclear program, some Council action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter seems likely, but it’s difficult to see what would come of that use of authority other than international armed conflict.”

African Update: “Various media sources have recently reported that Jan Pronk, the United Nations’ special envoy in Sudan, believes that there is a strong and growing anti-UN and anti-NATO sentiment in Khartoum which has been fueled by fear of a “conspiracy against the Arab-Islamic world.” Recently Sudan’s president Omar el-Bashir was sounding very much like pre-invasion Saddam Hussein when he said that Darfur would become a “graveyard” for any foreign military contingent that entered the region without his government’s approval. So if the UN (or NATO) can get past these hurdles and deploy troops in Darfur with a mandate to stop the violence what will happen? Will it truly become a “graveyard” as President Bashir says? Will Jihad be unleashed on the troops there and on the countries that sent those troops? … Let”s hope not. Let’s hope that rationality and a general worldwide distaste for genocide rule the day.”

Mental Meanderings: “The controversy about the new Human Rights Council in the United Nations continues unabated. The new Council is proposed to replace the Human Rights Commission which has already been discussed here. The US has confirmed that they will oppose the format of the new Council, mainly because the danger of human rights offenders being elected to the Council continues unabated in the absence of the requirement for a two-thirds majority vote for membership. I challenge anyone to find an international institution that is absolutely perfect. I equally challenge anyone to find a nation state that does not violate human rights standards. However I would wager that the vast majority of states have improved their compliance with human rights standards by means of the UN and it is through a marriage of the world’s two dominant discources: security and rights: that further development can be secured.”