February 28, 2008

Louise Arbour to quit UN job?

Good news, for once. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, who endorsed the Arab Charter on Human Rights which contains anti-Semitic provisions, and who blamed Israel instead of Hezbollah for the Lebanon war is expected to announce in the coming weeks that she will not seek a second four-year term as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Arbour's pending departure also comes as she experiences increasing frustration over attempts by a powerful group of countries in the UN's 47-member Human Rights Council to extend their influence over her officially independent office.

Leading that charge have been Algeria, China and Cuba, but all involved have poor human rights records. Their aim, observers say, is to try to gain as much control as possible over who's hired and the work they do. It is part of a wider campaign that has seen them structure the council's rules so that only Israel can easily be singled out for criticism when the body - of which Canada is a member - meets. Arab and Muslim countries lobbied for Israel to be made the exception.

For background on Louise Arbour, click here. For other articles on Louise Arbour, see this.