Donnerstag, 25. November 2010

UN ideal versus reality and interpretations in the blogosphere

PZ Myers posts about a recent resolution of the UN and (i think) doesn't ponder the important question.
The UN was about to decide on a resolution (full text here) dealing with Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution. Now such resolutions have been passed for years and since 1999 they contained a passage specifically for sexual orientation. Something similar to
....To ensure the effective protection of the right to life of all persons under their jurisdiction and to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings, including those targeted at specific groups of persons, such as racially motivated violence leading to the death of the victim, killings of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, killings of persons affected by terrorism or hostage-taking or living under foreign occupation, killings of refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants, street children or members of indigenous communities, killings of persons for reasons related to their activities as human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists or demonstrators, killings committed in the name of passion or in the name of honour, all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation, as well as all other cases where a person’s right to life has been violated, and to bring those responsible to justice before a competent, independent and impartial judiciary at the national or, where appropriate, international level, and to ensure that such killings, including those committed by security forces, police and law enforcement agents, paramilitary groups or private forces, are neither condoned nor sanctioned by State officials or personnel.....
And for quite a while some countries have been eager to eliminate the underlined part. this year they succeeded by a vote of 79 in favour to 70 against with 17 abstentions. The whole story of how it happened and who said what can be read online of course.

PZ,  and others are keen to stress how easily gays now can be killed:
But do you know who the UN thinks are fair game? Non-heterosexual people. (PZ)
UN General Assembly Votes To Allow Gays To Be Executed Without Cause (new civil rights movement) 

I note a more factual and neutral entry here.
Of interest is also the press release of the IGLHRC. They note:
“This vote is a dangerous and disturbing development,” said Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director of IGLHRC. “It essentially removes the important recognition of the particular vulnerability faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people - a recognition that is crucial at a time when 76 countries around the world criminalize homosexuality, five consider it a capital crime, and countries like Uganda are considering adding the death penalty to their laws criminalizing homosexuality.”

We need not argue about the question if homosexual people face problems in certain parts of the world. Of course they do. So do others.(see below)
We also need not argue if this is a "particular vulnerability". Of course it is. So are others.

I have different problems with the whole situation. I think that the UN charta of human rights is absolutely clear and needs no reinterpretation for specific groups no matter what group. And every member state of the UN supposedly has signed and agreed to uphold and enforce these universal human rights.
Factually they don't. And it doesn't matter what text you write down, they won't.
Since 1999 the statement about sexual orientation was included in that paper. And it didn't help. Sexual orientation still is a justification for killing people in several countries. Do you really think that including or excluding that 3 word statement from above makes any difference? Do you really think it makes a difference?
Countries like Uganda wanted to impose the death penalty despite the statement. Other countries defacto have it. You think the butchers there READ a UN resolution no matter what it says? So much for the worth of that sentence or factually for the whole text.
Do me a favor and read that resolution. Do you find anything in it that makes sense apart of perhaps statements to reevaluate the situation next year? I mean what exactly does this resolution contain that you wouldn't expect from human rights abiding countries in the first place? Is there anything in that text that is not already contained as a rule in the human rights charta? What's the value of this papers existence?

There are aver 160 countries involved in shaping a text telling themselves and others that they are "urged" or "encouraged" or whatever other "soapy" word you could come up with to do what they supposedly have to do since signing that damn membership application form for the UN. We have a 6 page long text dealing with arbitrary executions? Something that no member state of the UN should be allowed to tolerate in the first place? And we have states debating such a paper that commit crimes against humanity all the time without any sanctions, without any consequences?

And the only thing people debate is how it can be that three words are taken out of that paper?

This is simply ridiculous.

Oh by the way ... i have something for you about Benin. If you think killing because of sexual orientation is a problem there watch this:

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