By Julie Mandoyan | July 6, 2012 - 03:00 GMT
The UN Human Rights Council (OHCHR) discussed yesterday (5 July) a highly controversial resolution project entitled “Right to Peace.” The contentious points reside in its content — allowing for resistance against “foreign occupation” — and its sponsors.
Resolution A/HRC/20/L.16 voted yesterday allowed the Council to “establish [an] open-ended intergovernmental working group with the mandate of negotiating, finalizing and submitting to the Human Rights Council a draft United Nations declaration on the right to peace.” The resolution was initiated by Cuba and was co-sponsored by 34 other states, including Syria, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Belarus, China, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua. The resolution highlighted the role of civil society in promoting peace.
However, the US, who voted against what it described to be a “divisive” text, said it would “embroil the Council in contentious negotiations.” The US also expressed concerns over the impact of such a resolution: “The resolution and the Working Group would not contribute to peace and human rights, and would make no meaningful contribution to human rights on the ground.”
The Geneva-based organization “UN Watch,” expressed serious concern over a resolution that gives “legitimization of the terminology used by Middle East to justify terrorist attacks against Americans and Israelis.” Its executive director, Hillel Neuer said: “It's a sick joke that mocks the victims of these murderous regimes, and the majority should never have gone along with the farce. Today's resolution is eerily similar to the mass slogan used in 1984, George Orwell's totalitarian dystopia: War is Peace.” He added: “ today the Syrian regime, which denies its people the right to life, was allowed to join with Iran, North Korea and other tyrannies to cynically present themselves as champions of peace.”
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