Commentary and Newsletters

Anne Bayefsky

U.N. Hypocrisy On Full Display: Today Iran joins top UN women's rights body

Friday, March 4, 2011

Click here to see the article by Anne Bayefsky today on Fox News.

Today, Iran officially becomes a member of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. Only three days ago, the U.N. General Assembly voted to suspend Libya's membership on the U.N. Human Rights Council in a desperate bid to save the Council's tattered reputation and itself.

But not a single state, including the United States, has indicated anything but smooth sailing for today's membership of Iran on the U.N.'s top women's rights body.

The double-talk surrounding the Libyan maneuver was breathtaking. It was only nine months ago, after getting to know Qaddafi over four decades, that the General Assembly had elected Libya to serve on the U.N.'s top human rights body. And Libya still serves on the U.N. Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the U.N. Commission on Information, and the Executive Board of U.N. Women.

The U.N. has no intention of really cleaning house, since there would be no baby left with the bath water. Here is just a glimpse of the authority figures that the UN system currently has in place to run its global operations on human rights, women's equality, protection of children and refugees, free flow of information, social and democratic development and crime prevention.

UN Human Rights Council

    Mission: "...responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all...."

    Members: Saudi Arabia, China, Vice-Presidents: Cuba, Angola
UN Commission on the Status of Women (starting Friday, March 4, 2011)

UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

    Mission: "...set...out global strategy to prevent crime and promote stable criminal justice systems...and improving the efficiency and fairness of criminal justice administration systems."

    Members: Libya, Russia, Sudan, Iran, DRC, Pakistan
UN Women

    Mission: "...support, address and contribute to gender equality and the empowerment and the advancement of women..."

    Members: Executive Board: DRC, Saudi Arabia, China, Libya
UN Economic and Social Council

    Mission: "...responsible for: promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress...encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms..."

    Members: Saudi Arabia
UN Commission on Sustainable Development

    Mission: "...to promote dialogue and build partnerships for sustainable development with major groups include[ing] women, youth, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific community, and farmers..."

    Members: Angola, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia
UN Commission on Social Development

    Mission: "....promoting full employment and decent work for all...Improving public sector effectiveness....National and international cooperation for social development..."

    Members: Cuba, Egypt, Zimbabwe
UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations

    Mission: "...The consideration of applications for consultative status [with the UN]...submitted by NGOs..."

    Members: Sudan, Cuba, Pakistan, China
UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)

    Mission: "...promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all...security of tenure and equal access to economic resources for all, with a specific focus on gender equality."

    Members: Governing Council: Iran
UN Committee on Information

    Mission: "To promote the establishment of a new, more just and more effective world information and communication order...based on the free circulation and wider and better-balanced dissemination of information..."

    Members: China, Kazakhstan, Libya, Iran
UN Children's Fund (UNICEF)

    Mission: "....advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential..."

    Members: Executive Board: Sudan, China
UN High Commissioner for Refugees

    Mission: "...safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees."

    Members: Executive Committee: Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan
UN World Food Programme

    Mission: "...advocate policies, strategies and operations that directly benefit the poor and hungry."

    Members: Executive Board: Sudan