In a late breaking news item from the corporate news service (MSNBC), it is reported that the US has been denied a seat on UN Commission on Human Rights. Three seats on the body are reserved to Western nations, and France, Austria and Sweden edged out the US, which came in 4th. The US has had a seat on the commission since its creation in 1947.|
Although the results of the voting were accompanied by a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth, it is possible that a great opportunity is presented here. There is reason to hope that absent the US on the panel, some actual work may be done to expose the systematic denial of human rights which are characteristic of life in the United States. The US has thundered its disapproval of Cuba and other regimes, while it is in violation of several international treaties to which it is a signatory. Activists may hope to bring pressure on France and Sweden to turn an analytical eye on US practices.