There are many worthy bodies in the UN system, that we can and should participate in. Our last spell on the Security Council was excellent for NZ and good for the UN.
However the Human Rights Council is a body we should be avoiding. Even the UN Secretary General has criticised it. Within just months it is becoming as discredited as its predecessor body. This is because they watered down all the reforms.
We can achieve nothing of use on this body. We will just get to condemn Israel several times a day, ignore Sudan, Zimbabwe and Syria and get to join Iran in telling off the United Kingdom for its treatment of women.
To my horror, not only is New Zealand standing for a spot on the Human Rights Council, we are actively campaigning for it, and have the campaign website.
Now at first I thought it was a joke – would we really use text messaging type English for a domain name of votenz4hrc.org. But alas it is a real genuine site.
The only way to reform the Human Rights Council is to deny it legitimacy by refusing to participate until it does genuine reform. Changing from within totally failed with its predecessor.
I’m tempted to start a “Do Note Vote for NZ” campaign. Not because NZ doesn’t have an excellent record on human rights, but because I don’t want that excellent record to lend legitimacy to a Council which is home to some of the worse abusers, and fails consistently to confront countries like Zimbabwe as the Government there is literally murdering its opponents.
How much money is being spent by MFAT on the campaign to win a seat? I can think of much better uses for it!