10 May 2006

Comedy at the UN

China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan were elected yesterday to seats on the United Nations’ Human Rights Council.

Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, said: “The good news is that we did better than expected in the voting because Iran and Venezuela both lost. Venezuela’s losing shows that bluster and anti-Americanism isn’t enough to get elected.”

Nations running for the council had to meet more demanding standards than in the past.

The previous commission was long a public embarrassment to the United Nations because countries like Sudan, Libya and Zimbabwe became members and thereby thwarted the investigation of their own human rights records.

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