Tuesday, November 22, 2011

U.N. Resolution On Human Rights In Iran Asks For "Unfettered Access"

The following members of the U.N. General Assembly's Third  Committee (dealing with Human Rights):
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland,
Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta,
Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Spain, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America

passed a resolution with a 6 page bucket list of concerns regarding Iran's abysmal stance on human rights, and asking Iran to:

to positively avail itself of the opportunity to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur and other international human rights mechanisms, including by allowing the Special Rapporteur unfettered access to the country to carry out his mandate.
The resolution passed with 86 "yes" votes, 32 "no" votes, and 59  "abstentions".  According to the United For Iran website, the resolution gained some new votes from countries that abstained or voted no in the past, including Tunisia (surprisingly), Libya (surprisingly),  Central African Republic, Colombia, Haiti, South Korea, Haiti, Malawi, Senegal, Seychelles and Tanzania.

Among those voting "no", not surprisingly, were China, Russia; communist countries like Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam;  all the leftist Latin countries including Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba and Nicaragua; most if not all of the 'istan" countries like Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. And, of course, most of the Muslim majority countries either voted  no or abstained. I was very surprised, however, that India actually voted no, but perhaps that's because of their contentious neighbour Pakistan.

Of course, why the U.N. even bothers drafting resolutions for countries that have no intention of complying is another issue. Iran is not going to let the Special Rapporteur, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, have 'unfettered access' to the country, and they're certainly not going to change their ways simply because the U.N. "urges" or "asks" them to. It's incredibly naive to think so. The only chance for change in that country, is when (if ever) the Mullahs and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are laid to rest or in exile somewhere far away.

For a list of how each country voted, click here.

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