The Decision which discredited United Nations as a viable body
for the protection of the weak

The Human rights commission (HRC) of the United Nations is the most contested and coveted institution even by the most tyrannical and undemocratic nations of this world. The majority of these despotic nations care little for the rights and even less for the welfare of their citizens. The question that begs itself is whether there is an alternative to this UNwilling, UNable and sadly enough UNnecrssary institution. The decision taken on April 16th 2003 by the HRC to oppose the resolution on Human Right situation in the Sudan is incongruous and thus undermines the very fact why this institution exists at all.:

We are faced with two irreconcilable problems:

  1. Weaknesses within the system itself based on different concepts and definitions of human rights and,
  2. many of the parties have various political interests not necessarily serving Human rights.

The apparent South North voting dichotomy is worrying and the religious dimension has played a role as well in the voting to thwart the resolution. There is an urgent need for reform in this dying body. Group dynamic (blocks like the: African, European, Asian, Arab, South and North American) has started to take shape and hence the true values of the institution are undermined. It has become a means of survival for tyrants, typical of gangsters' style to belong and to show loyalty to one of these blocks.

African nations, with the exception of Uganda which abstained, voted against the resolution. One wonders whether these African nations had human rights respect or human rights violation in their minds. The reason put forward for their decision was that some tangible progress has been achieved by the Sudanese regime in the field of human rights. Bewildering is, the attitude from which these nations argue. They must have assumed that the nature of things in the world is anarchy and not peace. In this respect, any likely situation where fighting leaders shake their hands and smile at cameras is interpreted as a progress. The truth is, Sudan is still miles and miles away from achieving any peace.

The regime in the Sudan has been extremely cunning. Forum shopping for peace and dragging foot in order to change nothing in the status quo remains the focused strategy. The pressure brought on Khartoum to come to terms with recent developments has not been from these quarters who issued the regime a healthy bill of human rights. Most of these nations themselves have appalling human rights record and therefore it is a coalition of human rights violators.

The advocated neo-liberal policies in Europe have possibly encouraged African nations to vote against this Resolution. Europe has been sending conflicting signals on the flaring question of human rights abuse in Sudan. Sudan regime has been always touched with hands in gloves. The appeasement policies comfortable as they are, have borne no fruits. Meanwhile these industrial nations have mouthed pieties, succored victims, propped up tyranny, created new victims and opposed any intervention. Chechnya, Tibet, and Iraq are cases in point.

The pretext that Khartoum has made progress and thereby deserve recognition is a tongue in a cheek, simply because all that has been agreed upon so far by Khartoum and the SPLM/A is only worth the paper it is written on. The collapse of the final round of talks in Kenya, though downplayed by the parties involved and by the mediators, will soon reveal the true nature of the regime of Omar El Bashir.
One is forced, to some how conclude that many of these nations took the decision out of ignorance if not out of misreading or misunderstanding the true political situation in the Sudan.
Conspicuous also is the position of countries like Russia, China, India and Malaysia who have no sympathy left for the plight of the Sudanese people, but a covetous eye for its oil wealth. Globlisation, a refined and recycled combination of colonialism and imperialism makes it possible this time with the willingness and help from the natives or by wringing their arms.

The position to the resolution by the Arab countries is a well known one. None of these nations believes in democracy leave alone human rights concepts based on European cultural heritage. Their signatures to Geneva conventions are only lip service and serve only an alibi. Neither the Arab League nor the Organisation of Islamic Countries has ever condemned Sudan on its tragic human rights record. Thus the acculturalisation strategy of the non Muslims and non Arabs works according to the philosophy: if it is for Arabs or for Islam then it is not against human rights. This philosophy has destroyed the peaceful coexistence between Arabs and non-Arabs on one side and between Muslims and non-Muslims on the other.

Paradoxically the HRC which was established to be the voice of the voiceless and the one to protect the victims, has turned out to be an instrument in the hands of the oppressors which now with the blessing of the international community receives a license to go on torturing, killing and murdering the helpless people of the Sudan.
Knowing the nature of the regime, the objection to this resolution however, will definitely aggravate the situation of human rights in the Sudan, because it gives the regime a leverage to continue violating human rights with impunity. This Regime is on record for having committed worst crimes imaginable on human rights.

The issue of human rights is a burning one and will continue to be so, as long as some nations still believe that citizens of particular states have their own individual concept of what human rights is. The credibility of HRC therefore, is at stake, if human rights issues are left to be judged by nations led by despotic regimes who do not honour the principles of this institution.

At this significant juncture, there is a lesson to be learnt by the Sudanese oppressed and hence have to come to terms with the fact that the fight has come home and that there is no reliance on the world community morality to solve its internal problems. Worst scenario is that these negative external influences can be detrimental for the fate of our nation.

The voting against the resolution can be a turning point for the worst or for the better depending on how the regime exploits the situation at hand. This choice can bring Sudan to the threshold of another cycle of an overall civil war encompassing the whole nation. If the regime continues to oppress and violate human rights, then it leaves the people of the Sudan with no choice but to fight for their God given rights. Should the regime be wise enough then the best way is to stop this senseless and fanatic war against the South, West and East of the Sudan. It all rests in its hand to end this madness.

The Sudanese people are thankful to Gerhard Baum, the last human rights rapporteur, who tirelessly worked to bring the plight of the people of the Sudan to world's knowledge. »Top

Mou A. Thiik        Kiel, Germany, May,2th2003

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