Wednesday, September 23, 2009

U.S. Faces Doubts About Leadership on Human Rights

U.S. Faces Doubts About Leadership on Human Rights -

According to Column Lynch at the Washington

"But, as the U.N. General Assembly gets underway this week, human rights activists and political analysts say the new approach has undercut U.S. leadership on human rights issues."

Column Lynch of course is a highly regarded writer at the post so we will not question his analysis, but I am curious why the US is always considered to be the Lone Ranger on Human Rights issues? The examples listed in the article are related to the way in which the US government wishes to handle Darfur, (an on-going human rights nightmare), criticism of the new membership within the Human Rights Council , and last but not least, Sri Lanka. Column has some great points, don't get me wrong, but is it so bad that the US wishes to express an agenda that they deem to be appropriate not only for "international" relations, but also for "US" interests as well? This is the balancing act that every country must consider when they elect to become members of a supranational organizations which are far beyond the scope of nation-state interests alone. There is a certain sacrifice of your "own" state sovereignty that you must make and the United States is the most powerful nation in the world; and having recognized that, our decisions must not be made "lightly."

This is where I think the media sometimes misunderstands the intentions of the United States and questions the Uni-Power status we now hold since the end of the cold-war in 1989. Of course new challenges have arisen since the fall of the great Soviet Empire. Nevertheless, the realm of human rights is undoubtedly still paramount to the US, as evidenced by our recent renewed commitment to the Human Rights Council, and our cooperation with the United Nations overall.


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