State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the decision, taken recently by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, reflected mistrust of the 47-member state forum, at which the United States currently has observer status.There is, naturally enough, much wailing and gnashing of teeth in tranzi-land.
"Our skepticism regarding the function of the U.N. Council on Human Rights in terms of fulfilling its mandate and its mission is well known. It has a rather pathetic record," McCormack told reporters.
"We will engage the Human Rights Council really only when we believe that there are matters of deep national interest before the council ... We are going to take a more reserved approach," he added.
There was widespread consternation on Friday at the Palais des Nations in Geneva when the US mission gave up his observer status - a step backwards for human rights around the world, says Human Rights Watch.It was all going so well, they sobbed. Belarus was was not re-elected to membership in 2007, nor was Sri Lanka this year. There were all sorts of "recommendations were made regarding Romania, Japan, Guatemala, Peru, Tunisia, Ukraine, Indonesia and others". And now there is this terrible set-back for human rights across the world.
Before we get too carried away with the horror of it all, perhaps we should look at who is who on the UN Human Rights Council. We have written about the organization before, some of its personnel and its attempts to stifle free speech, when it involves criticism of, for instance, Islamic countries.
We have written about the committee it has selected to organize the next anti-American, anti-Israeli, anti-Western hatefest in Durban in 2009.
We listed the odd problem or two with the organization, such as the bullying of UN Watch Director Hillel Neuer when he presents evidence of bias in the organization.
Above all, it is necessary to look at the membership of the Council and the countries that are in it. A few random examples: Nigeria, Zambia, Cuba, Nicaragua, China, Bangladesh, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Romania. Well, naturally, it is the American virtual withdrawal from observer status after prolonged abuse from representatives of some of the worst regimes on earth that is going to set back human rights in the world.