Monday saw the election of Mauritania to the position of vice president of the UN Human Rights Council. That’s the same Mauritania, mind you, with almost a million of its own people in chattel slavery. We’re sure that the council’s president-elect, Poland, is looking forward to working with its honorable new partner.
The worst part of this sorry debacle is that the General Assembly had the gall to confer this responsibility on Mauritania on Human Rights Day, while everyone else was trying to celebrate the 64th birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As the executive director of UN Watch put it, “The UN is making an arsonist head of the fire department. It defies both morality and common sense.”
This is hardly a shocker from the UN, which continues to furnish Syria with a seat on the UNESCO Human Rights Committee and once elected North Korea to chair the Disarmament Commission.
The US, however, has serious reasons not to make a huge deal out of this latest UN obscenity: Mauritania shares a long border with northern Mali and is already playing host to thousands of Malian refugees. The Obama administration might want to curtail any confrontations with this particular slave-state for the time being.
Still, this doesn’t prevent Via Meadia from doing our part to call attention to this shameful election. The Jacksonian streak in American society has never trusted international bodies like the UN and probably never will, but stories like this one make it hard even for the most dedicated Wilsonians in the U.S. to stick up for the UN.
Meanwhile, we’re still waiting to see exactly how horrible of a thing you have to do to your fellow man in order to not be elected to the UN Human Rights Commission.