Freedom Ain’t Free & Take Our Country Back

VICTORY Is Not Defeat

State Department Principle: Hypocrisy


I have reproduced an excerpt from a speech delivered byHarold Hongju Koh. Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State to the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law in Washington, DC  on  March 25, 2010.  I have added emphasis to some crucial statements and  intersperced my commentary.

When the Obama Administration took office, we faced two choices with respect to the Human Rights Council: we could continue to stay away, and watch the flaws continue and possibly get worse, or we could engage and fight for better outcomes on human rights issues, even if they would not be easy to achieve. With the HRC, as with the ICC and other for a, we have chosen principled engagement and strategic multilateralism. While the institution is far from perfect, it is important and deserves the long-term commitment of the United States, and the United States must deploy its stature and moral authority to improve the U.N. human rights system where possible. This is a long-term effort, but one that we are committed to seeing through to success consistent with the basic goals of the Obama-Clinton doctrine: principled engagement and universality of human rights law.

HRC members are elected to the council on a regional basis.  The realities of geopolitics dictate  the fact that the enemies of human rights will always have a majority on the council.  Our side will continue to be out voted, no matter how we pursue our principles.  Our engagement is ineffectual.

Our inaugural session as an HRC member in September saw some important successes, most notably the adoption by consensus of a freedom of expression resolution, which we co-sponsored with Egypt, that brought warring regional groups together and preserved the resolution as a vehicle to express firm support for freedom of speech and expression. This resolution was a way of implementing some of the themes in President Obama’s historic speech in Cairo, bridging geographic and cultural divides and dealing with global issues of discrimination and intolerance.

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April 2, 2010 - Posted by | Political Correctness | , , ,

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