We are bearing witness to a new blow to multilateralism and to the United Nations. The United States is threatening with calling for a vote and voting against the draft resolution presented by the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations last February 23, with the aim of establishing the modalities of the Human Rights Council, body which will substitute the current Commission on Human Rights. As it is known, said Commission went to pieces due to the political manipulation imposed to its works by the Bush Administration and its allies and accomplices of the European Union.
The United States Ambassador to the United Nations — imposed by the hawks of the White House against the Union’s Congress itself — announced yesterday Monday, February 27, that he had received instructions to reopen the negotiations in regard to the draft, adding that if there were attempts to adopt a decision on it in its current content, he would request the vote and vote against it himself.
What is paradoxical in all this is that the draft resolution, officially circulated today February 28, was meticulously conceived and negotiated behind the scenes with Washington’s representatives to accommodate, precisely, the main demands of the superpower, knowing that these would not have the majority support of the members of the United Nations.
During the months that have passed of the current process, the United States and its allies have exerted strong pressures on the numerous Third World governments aimed at breaking their resistance to this new confabulation. The Mission of Cuba to the United Nations denounced the danger of the perpetration of this ploy in a Press Release distributed last February 20.
Blackmail is the only "argument" of the Bush Administration. Its thesis cannot withstand debate. What kind of a Human Rights Council is the United States trying to impose?
— One in which its members are subjected to requirements and conditionings of such a nature, that they would make impossible for the countries that place themselves in the front line of resistance against the aggressive and hegemonic actions of the empire at a global level to join it. The United States is trying to make believe that the discredit of the CHR is the consequence of the presence of countries like Cuba in the Commission, when it is well known that, on the contrary, it was the politically motivated maneuvers promoted by Washington and the European Union, such as the unjust anti-Cuban exercise, which put paid to the Commission’s credibility. Let us recall that, additionally, the United States was not elected to make up the Commission on Human Rights in the year 2001, voted out by the majority of the world for its impositions and manipulations.
— One which suffers a reduction of its membership to the current 53 members of the Commission on Human Rights. They talk about a "more manageable" body, that is, a smaller one which allow them to concentrate their pressures on less members, to increase their impact and make them more effective. In other words, they want a Council which they can "manage" better, without the presence of those who like Cuba, call things by their names and defend, above all, the principles and dignity of the peoples.
— One in which the requirement of receiving the support of two thirds of the members of the General Assembly is imposed to the candidate countries in order to succeed in their candidature. In this way, they hope to guarantee for themselves in the practice — with the conspiratorial support of a clear minority made up by their close allies and those who subordinate to their dictates — the power to veto the candidates which hinder the control that they intend to gain on the body’s works. The imposition of this requirement, which is only applied to the election of the principal organs of the United Nations, which is not the case of the Human Rights Council, would allow a minority of 64 States to block the candidature of any aspirant.
— One with ample punitive powers and sanctioning capacity against the countries of the South, as opposed to the international cooperation in human rights matters, function assigned by the Charter of the United Nations to the entities in charge of this issue. Both the United States and the European Union will go ahead in the new body with their traditional exercises of political manipulation against the developing countries. No wonder they refuse to even consider the establishment of clear criteria applied to all by equal at the moment of presenting resolutions on countries.
— One in which the members, in assuming a dissident position before the Empire’s ploys and impositions, will be subjected to the permanent risk of being suspended their rights, on account of the pride, rancor and arrogance of the superpower.
— One that has close ties with the Security Council, antidemocratic body which the United States imposes its conditions on as the only superpower.
— One that does not have an express mandate to carry out in a prioritized manner the realization of the Right to Development, key demand by the great majority of the humankind. One that cannot adopt effective decisions against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other forms of related intolerance. One that focus its works on the civil and political rights as understood by Washington and that serves, among other things, to legitimate torture, which the theoreticians and hawks of Washington have devoted so much time to justify.
Is it possible that the draft resolution is contrary to the interests of Washington? All the contrary. It endorses the decrease of the number of members of the main body of human rights of the United Nations, from 53 to 47 members; increases the minimum required votes to elect a candidate to 96; maintains the possibility to impose resolutions against countries of the South, without respecting any criteria. It also makes possible the suspension of the members of the Council with the support of two thirds of the members present and voting in an official meeting of the General Assembly, without establishing a minimum required limit; it opens the possibility for countries of the South in the future, to face the permanent danger of being condemned through a resolution, and also, to be deprived from their rights in the Council; it makes possible for the Council to respond in an expeditious way to the so called human rights emergencies that, according to the self appointed masters of the world, only take place in the South. However, these provisions will not apply to the grave, massive and sustained violations of the human rights at the detention center of Guantanamo base, the brutal tortures at Abu Ghraib or the transfer of detainees to be tortured in secret flights of the CIA through the civilized and democratic Europe; it makes possible for extraordinary meetings of the Council to be held, based on the minority will of one third of the members of the Council.
Is there any possibility to describe the draft resolution submitted by the President of the General Assembly as a text that favors the interests of developing countries, to the detriment of the interests of Washington? Absolutely not. Out of the 28 paragraphs of the draft, not even one was aimed at promoting concrete actions to overcome the obstacles created by the current international order to the realization of the objective of human rights for all, as it is established by article 28 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There is no paragraph completely devoted to the promotion of the Right to Development. Right to solidarity is not even mentioned. The right of peoples to peace did not get the universal recognition that it deserves in the draft resolution.
The main problem is not that the draft resolution is contrary, incompatible, or that it simply does not guarantee the stability, credibility and legitimacy interests required by the plan of global domination designed by the imperialist circles that hold the power in the United States. The real motivation for the final onslaught of the current Administration of the United States in the negotiations of the Human Rights Council is to show its will and capability to impose, even through the use of blatant blackmail, its conditions to the ongoing reform and reshaping of the international system represented by the United Nations. The neo-conservatives of the Bush administration have already initiated, at top speed, the process of implementation of the project of global domination expressed in the so called Project for the New American Century.
Washington has not cared about putting their allies and accomplices of the European Union, once more, in the ridiculous position of subordination and mimetic support to the superpower. After having expressed publicly that they were going to force the adoption, in the shortest term, of a draft resolution designed to accommodate the unpopular demands by Washington and its own interests, as spurious as those of its severe tutor, as soon as Bolton’s threatening statements came to the fore., they have rushed to indicate that if Washington insists in its position, the creation of the Council should be postponed.
In this way, many authorities of the European Union have already declared that "it is not desirable to create a Council without the support of all the democracies of the world; therefore we have to try to attract the United States to our side."
The European allies of the Empire should be already working really hard to try to get from the rest of the world new concessions to quench the thirst of domination and pillage of the Bush administration.
In the end, their politic and ideological interests are the same as those of Washington, which made them understand that their goals in Geneva could not be fulfilled without the support of the United States.
Manipulating the universal interest of strengthening multilateralism, Washington, its allies and other governments vulnerable to the pressures of the United States, intend to keep on imposing their conditions compelling the rest of the nations to give in to the indispensable defense of the central principles of the international system.
Multilateralism can only work on the basis of respect to the equal sovereignty of the States. A United Nations Organization that allows the superpower to act at its will in the implementation of its hegemonic appetite and selfish interests would not be feasible.
Cuba has been actively participating in the debates on the reform of the Commission on Human Rights with a constructive spirit and total transparency. It has submitted numerous proposals in the successive stages of the process, many of which are based on the language previously agreed upon in the World Conference on Human Rights, held in Vienna in 1993, or in successive resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights and the General Assembly.
Cuba will continue working so as those aspects that were disregarded unjustly and against the will of the majority of the States of the South, be duly included in the draft resolution on which the General Assembly should make a statement. Those omissions are a serious attempt against the possibility of ensuring the creation of a Human Rights Council that bases its works on genuine dialogue.
Cuba has worked arduously to prevent that the problems that put paid to the credibility of the CHR from being transferred to the new body. Our country will not be accomplice to the silent perpetration of a new plot in the making between Washington and its main western allies against the countries of the South.
Cuba will keep its vertical denounce against this new attack to the international system and to the interests of the countries of the South, and will act, in accordance to the circumstances, in defense of justice, International Law and the so necessary international cooperation in favor of promoting and protecting all the human rights for all the peoples and individuals.