Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Yes to the UN Human Rights Council and No to UNESCO

 The US should stay in the UN Human Rights Council but leave and defund UNESCO like President Reagan did in 1984.


 There is a discussion underway on whether or not the United States should remain in the UN Human Rights Council. Recognizing that the UN Human Rights Council was founded on a small moral compromise that sacrificed human rights oversight in Belarus and Cuba in what UN officials called the dawn of a new era; that the worse of the worst have been elected to this human rights body and these bad actors have gutted human rights standards, furthermore that the moral authority of the Council has been compromised and there is an international human rights crisis due to the politicization of human rights by the radical left. This culminated in the UN Human Rights Council paying homage to the memory of Fidel Castro after he died in what was an act of moral corruption. It is understandable why some would want to leave the Council but that would be a mistake.

This ongoing human rights crisis presents an opportunity for conservatives to save international human rights standards. Conservatives must reject the mistaken left wing narrative that claims that human rights emerged out of the French Revolution. The Revolution in France rejected traditions, established truths and declared war on the Church. The end result was terror, genocide and a military dictator (Napoleon Bonaparte) This would involve a public education campaign exploring the roots of modern human rights thought that stretches back to debates within the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, and during the European Age of Discovery in the debate over the rights of Native Americans by the Salamanca School following Colombus's arrival in America to British liberties beginning with Magna Carta, conservatives who led the international anti-slavery fight in Great Britain such as William Wilberforce and Edmund Burke's conservative defense of Indian civilization offered an important contribution that considered the role of providence.

Contrast this with the Obama Administration's pursuit of a radical agenda turning human rights upside down: declaring abortion a human right, was on more than one occasion not only on the wrong side of the human rights conversation but also taking (or refusing to take action) at the UN Human Rights Council. The Obama White House praised Raul Castro, refused to defend US sanctions on Cuba, although it is the law, but demonized Israel and and did not support them at the United Nations before resolutions presented by hostile countries. Obama's Cuba legacy is one of legitimizing tyranny, marginalizing dissidents and a dramatic escalation of human rights violations in Cuba. This trend has continued to manifest itself world wide throughout his Presidency with human rights deteriorating over the past eight years. To be fair this trend predated the Obama White House but only worsened during their tenure.

If it were up to me the United States would stay in the UN Human Rights Council but engage in aggressive diplomacy placing the anti-American dictatorships in the Council on the defensive in public debates and in the bureaucracy.

It is China, Cuba and Venezuela that do not belong on the UN Human Rights Council.The world's oldest continuous constitutional democracy, the United States needs to be on the Council to take the fight to human rights violators and expose their hypocrisy.

Nevertheless, the White House should immediately pull out of  UNESCO and defund it. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is so out of touch with what it mission should be that on June 18, 2013 it added “The Life and Works of Che Guevara” to the World Registrar. UNESCO is providing funds to preserve Che Guevara’s papers. Guevara in addition to promoting communist ideology, is best known as an advocate for guerrilla warfare who viewed terrorism as a legitimate method of struggle against an enemy. U.S. tax dollars are paying for some of this and they shouldn't be.

Ronald Reagan defunded and left UNESCO in mid 1984 because the hard left was using it to spread its anti-American and radical left ideologies but George W. Bush brought the United States back into UNESCO after a twenty year boycott believing it had reformed and took the United States out of the Human Rights Council. Returning to UNESCO was a mistake, the organization is back to its old tricks that are hostile both to U.S. values and national security interests.

Meanwhile leaving the UN Human Rights Council would leave the attacks against the United States in this body unanswered and new resolutions set possibly pernicious to the United States. The Reagan Administration took the offensive on human rights after the US had played defense and they were successful in placing outlaw regimes on the defensive.

Defund and leave UNESCO not the UNHRC

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