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Libya Elected to Chair U.N. Human Rights Body
Reuters ^ | Mon, Jan 20, 2003 | Richard Waddington

Posted on 01/20/2003 4:28:36 AM PST by sf4dubya

Libya Elected to Chair U.N. Human Rights Body 17 minutes ago

By Richard Waddington

GENEVA (Reuters) - Libya, under fire for years from human rights activists, was overwhelmingly elected Monday to chair the top United Nations (news - web sites)' rights body after the United States broke with tradition and forced a vote.

The North African country ruled by President Muammar Gaddafi (news - web sites) will preside at the March 17-April 25 session of the U.N. Human Rights Commission which meets annually to survey the rights situation around the world.

For the first time since the Commission was founded in 1947, the decision went to a vote after Washington said it could not "reward Libya's terrible conduct" and demanded a ballot.

Libya, which is still not fully free of U.N. sanctions imposed for its alleged role in the Lockerbie airliner bombing (news - web sites), had been nominated by African countries whose turn it was by U.N. tradition to make the choice.

The Libyan candidate, diplomat and former journalist Mrs. Najat al-Hajjaji, won 33 votes in a secret ballot of the 53-country Commission, with 17 states abstaining and three voting no -- apparently including the United States.

No country-by-country breakdown was immediately available, but the abstentions were believed to include European countries and some from Latin America.

The U.S. decision to force a vote was denounced as "a political challenge" by South Africa, which proposed al-Hajjaji on behalf of all African countries on the commission.

VIOLATED

South Africa's envoy Sipho George Nene said the United States move had violated a practice which had helped maintain cooperation on the commission and expressed the hope it would be the last time a proposed chairman was challenged.

"The right of regional groups to present candidates of their choice must be respected," he declared.

Nene later declined to challenge on behalf of the Commission's African group the nomination by Canada for the Western group of Australian envoy Mike Smith as one of the three vice-chairs to al-Hajjaj.

Her other two deputies -- also elected unopposed -- were envoys from Sri Lanka and Peru, representing the Asian and Latin American groups.

In a speech after her election, the Libyan diplomat -- who had been a vice-chair herself in 2001 -- said she and her colleagues "will do everything in her power to carry out the tasks entrusted to us." She said she as chariwoman she would avoid taking decisions on a personal basis "as far as possible" and would rely on the Commission's "collective wisdom."

She would be guided, she said, by the words of an early Islamic leader who told his followers that he had been chosen as their guide "but I am not the best among you....if I make mistakes, please help me to correct them."


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: hypocrasy; ironyofironies; libya; un
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1 posted on 01/20/2003 4:28:36 AM PST by sf4dubya
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2 posted on 01/20/2003 4:29:50 AM PST by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: sf4dubya
The UN shows its true face again...

Let the Europeans ponder their new Islamic world view for a while...
3 posted on 01/20/2003 4:43:34 AM PST by DB ()
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To: sf4dubya
Libya is not fit to be on the same planet as the civilized world much less be on any human rights commission. This should show the world isn't serious about the U.N.
Get the U.S. out of this anti u.S. joke.
4 posted on 01/20/2003 5:09:24 AM PST by Joe Boucher
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To: sf4dubya
This is a prime example of the ineffective, bogged-down committee mind-set of the UN. (aka United Neuters)

No wonder nobody has any faith in them!
5 posted on 01/20/2003 5:19:01 AM PST by prairiebreeze
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To: sf4dubya
Yet more proof that the UN is a farce.
6 posted on 01/20/2003 5:49:49 AM PST by Thane_Banquo
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To: sf4dubya
This is from the "Onion", right?
7 posted on 01/20/2003 6:01:57 AM PST by Textide
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To: sf4dubya
Heehee. I hope W includes this episode in his 2009 summary book of his two term presidency about how he allowed the UN to dismantle itsself. A guy can dream.
8 posted on 01/20/2003 6:03:25 AM PST by sam_paine
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To: sf4dubya
Who's next?....... Sudan? Zimbabwe? Iraq? No. Korea? Iran?
9 posted on 01/20/2003 6:04:23 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: sf4dubya
At times like these, Isolationism becomes attractive.
10 posted on 01/20/2003 6:37:55 AM PST by Uncle Miltie (Islamofascism sucks!)
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To: sf4dubya
The guy with the clap is running the clinic.
11 posted on 01/20/2003 7:03:22 AM PST by Clive
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To: DB
if there was ever any doubt about the usefulness of the United Nations...
12 posted on 01/20/2003 7:05:51 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
The US was supposed to be demanding a voice vote on this: anybody have the vote list showing each nations vote?
13 posted on 01/20/2003 7:12:38 AM PST by rbmillerjr
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To: rbmillerjr
I couldn't find one yet, but it will probably be easy to come by later in the day. I do believe Canada voted no, however. Israel is not on the commission, but isseud a very strong opinion against her nomination. European nations are the abstainers, since nations like France like to get along with their former colonies and not rock the boat. This is Libya's new representative:


14 posted on 01/20/2003 7:35:18 AM PST by July 4th
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To: sf4dubya
I predict exile to LIBYA for Saddam. I predicted this in my 2003 predictions. Kadaffi is being rehabilitated. The US didn't shut him down at the UN. " Libya is elected to chair of UN Human Rights Commission." "K" wants to leave a legacy as a humanitarian. Rumsfeld would welcome exile - LIBYA - LIBYA LIBYA Wya

PS We won't go to war with North Korea either.

15 posted on 01/20/2003 7:35:57 AM PST by Henchman
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To: sf4dubya
This is dangerously nuts. And suits our corrupted culture!
16 posted on 01/20/2003 7:37:46 AM PST by joyful1
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To: sf4dubya
U.N. doctrine = Third Way socialism

Qadaffi doctrine = Third International Theory socialism

Coincidence?? I think not.

The UN embraces another terrorist. The UN is the enemy of freedom everywhere.

The actual name of Libya is Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Libya signed but did not ratify the Nuclear Test Ban.

Qadaffi is the perfect poster boy of the UN's politics of world domination.

To be fair, Libya has one of the best literacy rates in the Arab world...we won't mention the sacrifice of goats to celebrate the murder of all passengers and crew aboard the Lockerbie flight, or the damages Qadaffi was assessed to pay to the families of the victims.

17 posted on 01/20/2003 7:37:48 AM PST by cake_crumb (What would we do without FR? Don't wait to find out. Become a monthly donor.)
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To: sf4dubya
"The Libyan candidate, diplomat and former journalist Mrs. Najat al-Hajjaji, won 33 votes in a secret ballot of the 53-country Commission, with 17 states abstaining and three voting no -- apparently including the United States."

This is hardly even a legitimate vote, what with a third of the votes abstaining.

Does anyone have the figures on which countries are paid up on their dues and which aren't?

18 posted on 01/20/2003 7:39:01 AM PST by nightdriver
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To: rbmillerjr
The vote was a secret one, if I recall correctly.

But seeing how Qadaffi already controls Liberia, Burkina Faso, and the Central African Republic and has strong ties to Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone, that already puts him ahead 6 votes of any other contestant. And if Mugabe backed Qadaffi, he would likely bring his fellow travelers in South Africa, Namibia, and Angola along with him. So that already starts Qadaffi out with a 9 vote lead.

Because Qadaffi's an Arab and will use his new power to demonize Israel, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, and Somalia would all vote along with him, thus bringing the total to 14. That already makes him the strongest candidate from the get-go and is probably enough to bring most other nations against him. He received 33 votes total.

Of the 14 who voted against him, most are probably US allies (Morocco, Algeria, Ethiopia, Kenya) or countries that have already experienced the benevolence of Qadaffi's power over the last 30 years (Uganda, Chad, Ivory Coast).

That's probably the best way to break the vote down.
19 posted on 01/20/2003 7:40:44 AM PST by Angelus Errare
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To: sf4dubya
Proof that the UN is a body without principles.
20 posted on 01/20/2003 8:00:36 AM PST by NetValue (Diversity or American Unity - Your Choice.)
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