UN Human Rights Council Reform Will Be Ineffective

To the editors:

I wholeheartedly disagree with your castigation of the U.S. for its opposition to the newly-adopted UN Human Rights Council (“Reforming the UN,” editorial, Apr. 12). Opposing the Council is not a “show of disregard for multilateralism and compromise” but rather a vote for effective human rights protection.

The new Council is not an improvement from its predecessor, the UN Human Rights Commission. Other than where a country is located, there is not a single criterion for membership, and countries must rotate off the Council after a two-year term.

Thus, the new organization merely ensures that human rights abusers will continue to occupy seats on the Council and that countries which value and protect human rights will lose their seats after two years. There is no hope for effective human rights protections from a body whose members include, or have included in the past: Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and Libya.

To think that the new Council will bring any real improvement in the protection of human rights around the globe is naïve, and faulting the U.S. for its recognition of that is unfortunate.


Jasper, Ala.

April 12, 2006