UN criticized over new human rights council members

Daily News Article - October 15, 2018


1. a) What is the mission of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)?
b) What does the UNHRC do? Be specific.

2. Why did the UN disband the UN Commission on Human Rights and replace it with the UNHRC in 2006?

3. Why did the U.S. quit the UNHRC in June?

4. a) The 47 members of the UNHRC are chosen from the 193 member states of the UN. Who votes to confirm UNHRC members?
b) How did the 5 voting regions remove any competition for the vacancies?
c) How did the US and the director of Human Rights Watch react to the confirmation of the 4 countries in question?

CHALLENGE: Why did the 5 voting regions remove any competition for the vacancies do so? (NOTE: The BBC reporter does not provide this information in the article.)

5. Which 4 countries do human rights campaigners, as well as the U.S., oppose? For each country, explain what they have done that should make them ineligible to sit on the Human Rights Council.

6. a) What does the idiom “same old same old” mean?
b) How does it apply to the UNHRC? (or, what is ironic about the new UNHRC replacing the UN’s CHR?)

7. What do you conclude about the 193 countries that make up the UN if they would vote to make countries that actually violate human rights members of the Human Rights Council?

8. Watch the videos under “Resources” below. The BBC reports in paragraph 3 of the news article above that the defenders of the UNHRC say it does vital protection work around the world. How does this contrast with what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley say?