2016 is coming to an end.
As every year a lot of major events happened around the world. Can we say it’s getting worse and worse with the years? I don’t think so. But it’s definitely not getting better. The first major event was the BREXIT. The first moment where people panicked and got confused. But why? When you think of the failure of the EU, it’s only a good thing and a golden opportunity to rebuild Europe. Also, the referendum showed a recurring problem in politics where at the end of the day the old people decide the future of the youth. Something to think about. And Erdogan fooling everybody with his controversial strategy in the region. Then the elections of Trump where mainstream media tried until the end to deny the reality and real problem the American society is facing. In France, Francois Fillon, winning hands down the presidential primaries of the right wing in France, with a conservative program but an interesting foreign policy strategy by having close ties with Putin. To the last minute victory in Austria of the green party against the right-wing populism. Another referendum in Italy for/against the constitution. A first-time ever in France where the actual President, Francois Hollande, is not representing himself. I’m sure I’m skipping a lot of other major political events and I’m sorry for that. Oh yes, and obviously, war, war, and war. Poverty, poverty and poverty. Injustice, injustice and injustice. And people are devastated. Sad. Angry. Can’t see the end of the tunnel. But I think 2016 is a turning point in our history and it’s an opportunity to have a better future and build a better world for our children around the world. The problem is clear, let’s deal with it.
I bet you didn’t even know that in the first place
Even so, I would like to come back to an event we have talked little about. The event happened on Friday, October 28th, 2016. Do you have any idea what has happened on this day? Even if I give you a hint I’m not sure you will guess. The hint is Russia. No? Still nothing. Well on Friday, October 28th, 2016 Russia was voted off UN Human Rights Council. Nothing shocking so far, right? If you read the mainstream news you understand this decision as Vladimir Putin is committing crimes against humanity in Syria. Fine. Check out any newspaper you want, English and French. They all cover this story with more or less the same headlines. Russia voted off, Russia ousted, Russia denied membership, Russia got blocked. But out of 10 articles, I only found 3 of them using the correct headline: Russia fails to win re-election. Yes, that’s right! Russia was already part of the council. I bet you didn’t even know that in the first place. That’s how media can be dangerous. Especially in our social media era where the tendency is only to read the headlines of the articles.
“If you’re not careful, the media will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the oppressor.” Malcolm X
Okay, I have a feeling you’re confused right now. So as they say it on their website the UN Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. Its 47 seats are filled by member states elected for three-years terms. And no member may occupy a seat for more than two consecutive terms. Are you following? The Council’s Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution. Seats are distributed as follows:
- African States: 13 seats
- Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats
- Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats
- Western European and other States: 7 seats
- Eastern European States: 6 seats
Here’s a list of some of the current members:
- Saudi Arabia
- United Kingdom
Yes, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Philippines, as well!
The double standards of politics
So let’s get back to Russia who was already elected in 2013 and after three years had to face a re-election as the term was coming to an end. The member states voted off Russia. But, part of the countries who were facing re-election, Saudi Arabia came through. Also, Qatar and Nigeria are members of this council with their term ending in 2017. Philippines’ term is ending in 2018. I don’t think I need to inform you on Saudi Arabia and Qatar. And in the Philippines, their president wants to jail 9-year-old kids.
And this is what we call the double standards of politics. Russia is the enemy of Europe and the United States. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the allies of Europe and the United States. What do we get when we are in the right team? Special treatment. Do we even care about the human rights issue for a second? No. Sad reality.
Saudi Arabia also presides United Nations counter-terrorism centre. The presidency of the Alliance Civilizations Forum is entrusted to Qatar. Turkey was rewarded by hosting the first World Humanitarian Summit of the UN. Israel, an illegitimate state, is elected head of the UN Legal Committee.
Now you do you understand the big picture and the inaction of the UN on all ground?
Dear reader, understand this. The UN is not a credible organisation. And is definitely not a magician. So stop expecting magic from them. Instead, focus on your own government and put pressure on them so they are so scared of doing anything against the will of their own people. All political systems around the world have shown its limits. It’s not a reason to give up but on the contrary, fight for your rights. Believe in politics and its weaknesses, because you, and only you can make it stronger.