Tag Archives: United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR)

‘We Charge Genocide’ – Forerunner at UN of Black Lives Matter

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By W. T. Whitney, Jr.

The police killing of George Floyd on May 25 provoked demonstrations worldwide. The United Nations Human Rights Council on June 17 debated a draft resolution introduced by the “African Group” of nations that condemned “structural racism endemic to the criminal justice system in the United States.” The African nations were responding to a letter from the families of murder victims George Floyd, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, and Michael Brown; 600 human rights organizations had endorsed it.

Other U.S. appeals for relief from racist violence had arrived at the United Nations. The National Negro Congress and the NAACP delivered petitions in 1946 and 1947, respectively. Three years after the United Nations ratified its Genocide Convention, the New York-based Civil Rights Congress in 1951 submitted a petition to the United Nations. The title was: “We Charge Genocide: The Crime of the Government against the Negro People.”1 Continue reading

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War by other means: The violence of North Korean human rights

By CHRISTINE HONG

1. Victors’ Justice?

In February 2014, upon completing a several-month investigation into “human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [DPRK, or North Korea]” – an investigation initiated in the sixtieth anniversary year of the 1953 Korean War Armistice Agreement that halted combat but did not end the war – the three-member Commission of Inquiry (COI) established by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) concluded that North Korea had committed crimes against humanity. Such “unspeakable atrocities,” in the framing account of Commission chair Michael Kirby, “reveal a totalitarian State [without] parallel in the contemporary world.”[1] Analogies to the “dark abyss” of North Korea, the Australian jurist maintained, could be found only in the brutality of the Third Reich, South African apartheid, and the Khmer Rouge regime.[2] Reproduced in news reports around the world, Kirby’s markedly ahistorical examples may have succeeded in inflaming global public opinion yet they failed to contextualize the issue of North Korean human rights in a way that might generate peaceful structural resolution. Indeed, insofar as the 372-page COI report singularly identified the North Korea government as the problem – both as “a remaining and shameful scourge that afflicts the world today,” in Kirby’s jingoistic phrase, and as the primary obstacle to peace in Korea – the Commission gave new life to the vision of regime change that has animated post-9/11 North Korean human rights campaigns. By recommending that North Korea and its high officials be brought up before the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), it continued the hostilities of the unresolved Korean War “by means purporting to be judicial.”[3] The urgent question of a long-deferred peace relative to the Korean peninsula, which the Commission incoherently addressed, bedeviled its conclusions, rendering its findings partial, its recommendations in some instances uneasily one-sided, and its premise of impartiality suspect.[4] Moreover, that the COI proceedings and report aligned the United Nations with the United States, South Korea, Japan, and Great Britain while singling out North Korea and, to a far lesser degree, China, for blame performed an unsettling restaging of the Korean War on the agonistic terrain of human rights, suggesting an encrypted “victor’s justice” with regard to an unending war that up to now has had no clear winners.[5] Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, Agriculture, Asia, Media, Journalism & Disinformation, United States

Cuba reaffirms commitment to human rights

The country’s permanent commission to the United Nations highlighted the role of the Revolution in guaranteeing the exercise of all human rights for all citizens

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Canadian head of UN inquiry on Gaza forced to resign after Harper and Israel complain

Canadian law professor’s resignation shows the huge pressure the Harper government and Israel put on a UN committee and its chairman, as if they have something to hide. That pressure is meant for impunity and killing the truth.

2014.Gaza destructionCP (Feb. 3) – A Canadian law professor has resigned as the head of a UN commission tasked with investigating possible war crimes in Gaza last summer.

The appointment of William Schabas last year to head the commission had drawn strong criticism from Israel and the Harper government.

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Filed under Canada, No Harbour for War (Halifax)

Disinformation on gas attacks in Syria (9): U.S. manipulation of UN agencies

Lost in the celebration over the Nobel Peace Prize to the UN agency eliminating the Syrian government’s chemical weapons is the question of who was really behind the Aug. 21 poison-gas attack near Damascus. Relevant to that mystery is the recent U.S. pressure to control key UN agencies including the prize recipient, reports ROBERT PARRY*.

Consortiumnews.com (Oct. 16) – FOR AT LEAST the past dozen years, the U.S. government has aggressively sought to gain control of the leadership of key United Nations agencies, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) which is central to the dispute over the Syrian government’s alleged use of Sarin gas on Aug. 21. Continue reading

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Filed under Media, Journalism & Disinformation, Uncategorized

Vieques, Puerto Rico: Militant actions at UN headquarters

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