2003 April 22 Tuesday
China Sponsoring North Korean UN Human Rights Commission Membership

China is sponsoring North Korea to get one of United Nations Human Rights Commission seats reserved for Asian countries.

China served on the commission in 1947-63 and again in 1982-2002, then was re-elected last April for a further three-year term. It has now helped sponsor North Korea for one of the six vacant Asian seats.

Contrary to all the people who have been proclaiming Saddam's regime the worst regime in the world I think it is obvious that North Korea's regime has been the worst for a very long time. To have the North Korean regime being set up to become a member of the UN Human Rights Commission makes the UN HRC an even bigger mockery of its title than it already is. That China will take this action speaks volumes about the leadership of China as well.

On the bright side, even though current membership of the UN HRC includes a lot of oppressive regimes it has recently managed to pass a resolution censuring North Korea for human rights violations.

In Geneva, the U.N. Human Rights Commission adopted a resolution today that for the first time censures North Korea for serious violations, including torture and public executions.

But even the United States doesn't use its UN HRC seat consistently to support human rights.

In this case, the stinker was the Bush administration's March 11 decision to forgo a resolution condemning China at the U.N. Human Rights Commission. This was the first time since 1998, and only the second time since the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989, that a U.S. administration had gone to Geneva as a member of the commission and failed to take the Chinese to task.

What does the Bush Administration think it is getting from China in return for holding back?

As anyone who has been reading this web log for a while knows, I am not a fan of the United Nations. The problem with the United Nations is very simple: most governments in this world are bad and therefore an organization made up of the bulk of the world's governments is bad. Most of the world's peoples do not live in classically liberal democratic nation-states. Even if more of the governments in the world were democracies the UN would not improve drastically because in some parts of the world lots of people do not embrace the values that are the basic for liberal democracy in the West.

We are lucky that the UN is weak. Better to have a weak morally objectionable institution than a strong one.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 April 22 11:16 PM  UN, International Institutions

Patrick said at April 23, 2003 1:14 AM:

Maybe, just maybe, China doesn't like the UN either. Having North Korea in the Human Rights commision is one more nail in the coffin.

AMac said at April 23, 2003 12:04 PM:

The problem isn't the UN. It's that so many citizens of liberal democracies hold to their starry-eyed illusion of it being a benevolent organization.

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