March 2

Gaddafi suspended from UN Human Rights Council – what was he doing there?

The UN General Assembly has suspended Libya from the UN Human Rights Council over leader Muammar Gaddafi's brutal crackdown on opposition protests.

Some readers may be surprised that Gaddafi’s people were on the UN Human rights Council. Was this a joke?

The Australian (2/3) reports that the 192-member assembly passed a suspension resolution on Tuesday by consensus, without a vote, after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the body to "act decisively" against Gaddafi.

The UN should be embarrassed by the fact that Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya ever had a seat on the Human Rights Council or its predecessor. At one stage Libya assumed the presidency.

It is not only the Gaddafi regime. Governments with appalling human rights records are there and even deign to sit in judgement on countries like Australia.

…Gaddafi and Mugabwe still in the UN, but not the Commonwealth…

Gaddafi may be suspended from the Human Rights Council. Libya is a full member of the UN.
Compare that with our Commonwealth. If a member is guilty of human rights violations it gets its marching orders as Zimbabwe did. But Mugabwe is still in the United Nations.

Libya was under British administration after our victory over the Nazis in North Africa, albeit briefly. Power was handed over to the anti-Nazi king Idress, subsequently overthrown by republican Colonel Gadaffi. But the link is probably sufficient for Libya to apply for membership of the Commonwealth. And before the republican movement ridicules this , there is a queue trying to get in.

One reason may be is that our Commonwealth  is one international organization with standards.

… republican movement's disdain for Commonwealth…


[Continued below]

The UN General Assembly has suspended Libya from the UN Human Rights Council over leader Muammar Gaddafi's brutal
Yet with breathtaking ignorance of the rules, Australia’s republicans in 1999 jeopoardised our membership. Caught out they claimed the rules were not as ACM said.  But the Secretary-General confirmed in writing that we were absolutely correct.

And this was confirmed when the Commonwealth changed the rules. ( I suspect not sufficiently to relieve a lazy republican movement from exercising due diligence).

In the meantime the republican movement recently  gratuitously slammed the Commonwealth of Nations as a “diminished organisation”, one unlikely to be anything other than a ”second order player”. 

Responding to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary William Hague’s plans to return the Commonwealth to the forefront of the debate on global issues, republican spokesman Professor John Warhurst said the Commonwealth had been overtaken by the emphasis on bilateral relations and much newer, more relevant economic and security groupings.” (John Kerin, The Australian Financial Review, 21 January, 2011)

Ones which open their doors to the likes of Gaddafi and Mugabwe, we suppose.     


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