»   Tories disingenuously count bankers as public sector employees to argue for 'cutting the fat' http://t.co/klRFkwQ 14 mins ago

»   RT @DarrenJohnsonAM: Recycling may create 50,000 jobs - elect people who will actually deliver http://bit.ly/agR3pS 1 hr ago

»   Latest YouGov government approval rating is now at -8 (37% approve, 45% disapprove) http://bit.ly/bVeN1A 1 hr ago

»   What you WON'T hear the Right ask: has the Coalition gone too far and turning off independent voters? That Q only ever asked of the Left 2 hrs ago

»   Three-quarters of ppl think Coalition cuts are too deep & too fast according to a big poll today http://bit.ly/aJqLlE 2 hrs ago

» More updates...


  • Family

    • Earwicga
    • Liberal Conspiracy
  • Comrades

    • Andy Worthington
    • Angela Saini
    • Bartholomew’s notes
    • Bleeding Heart Show
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Campaign against Honour Killings
    • Cath Elliott
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dave Hill
    • Dr. Mitu Khurana
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Feministing
    • Harry’s Place
    • IKWRO
    • Indigo Jo
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • Natalie Bennett
    • New Statesman blogs
    • Operation Black Vote
    • Our Kingdom
    • Robert Sharp
    • Rupa Huq
    • Septicisle
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shuggy’s Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • The F Word
    • Though Cowards Flinch
    • Tory Troll
    • UK Polling Report
  • In-laws

    • Aaron Heath
    • Ariane Sherine
    • Douglas Clark's saloon
    • Get There Steppin’
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Isheeta
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Sarah
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Smalltown Scribbles
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • The Langar Hall
    • Turban Head
    • Ultrabrown



  • Technorati: graph / links

    Just fine words?


    by Rumbold
    4th July, 2010 at 11:01 am    

    The UN has announced the formation of a new body dedicated to advancing the cause of women:

    The General Assembly voted unanimously on Friday to launch a new agency called UN Women. It will begin its work in January, have a high-level leader, probably twice the $250m annual budget now allocated to gender issues, and will be tasked with challenging governments on women’s plights and rights.

    It is not clear how much of a positive impact this will have, as previous UN bodies have often proved to be detrimental to the cause they purport to represent. The UN ‘Human Rights Council’ was famously obsessed with attacking Israel (ignoring North Korea, Sudan, Zimbabwe, etc.), whilst the UN also debated a worldwide blasphemy law designed to stifle criticism of religion.

    There are plenty of dedicated individuals and groups working for and with the UN. The question is, will the UN’s members allow them to really fight for women’s rights in various countries, or will this take a back seat to political considerations?


                  Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: Current affairs,Sex equality






    16 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. sunny hundal

      Blog post:: Just fine words? http://bit.ly/cr8IEn


    2. earwicga

      RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: Just fine words? http://bit.ly/cr8IEn




    1. random63 — on 4th July, 2010 at 12:02 pm  

      Rumbold,

      As the UN have already put Iran, a stalwart defender of human rights onto their women’s rights panel, what could possibly go wrong?

      http://www.unelections.org/?q=node/1793

      I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for that positive outcome.

    2. MaidMarian — on 4th July, 2010 at 2:16 pm  

      Sorry rumbold - I had you down as opposed to supranational politics.

      Is the UN different for some reason?

    3. Kulvinder — on 4th July, 2010 at 3:06 pm  

      The question is, will the UN’s members allow them to really fight for women’s rights in various countries, or will this take a back seat to political considerations?

      It’ll take a back seat to political considerations; especially those of the security council. Theres an irritating tendency to view the UN as being some detached international body which actively acts against what should be done, or what would be done if only places like the UK or US had a say.

      This completely ignores the fact the lower level politicisation of the UN’s various organs is simply a trivial counter point to the security council’s own self interest.

      The best way to get the UN to act impartially is to make the permanent members of the security council act impartially and not use the UN to further their own foreign policy agenda.

    4. Rumbold — on 4th July, 2010 at 6:31 pm  

      Random63:

      Wonderful. I suppose Iran will defend a woman’s right to not be seen and not heard.

      MaidMarian:

      The don’t like the idea of an EU-type supranational body. But I am more than happy for countries to co-operate on certain issues. And the article wasn’t meant to imply an endorsement or dismissal of the UN as a body, merely that it exists and that we should try and make it work as well as we can.

      Kulvinder:

      The best way to get the UN to act impartially is to make the permanent members of the security council act impartially and not use the UN to further their own foreign policy agenda.

      Good point. But that will never happen.

    5. marwan — on 4th July, 2010 at 8:56 pm  

      Rumbold
      “Wonderful. I suppose Iran will defend a woman’s right to not be seen and not heard.”

      And India her right to be murdered while being a foetus because she’s female?

    6. Shatterface — on 4th July, 2010 at 11:31 pm  

      I can’t take seriously any international body that includes *Iran* as defenders of women’s rights.

      http://www.stophonourkillings.com/?q=node/4719

    7. earwicga — on 5th July, 2010 at 1:57 am  

      Further to Shatterface’s link - AI on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and Zeynab Jalalian who is also due to be murdered in Iran:
      http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=18854

      Articles with actions:

      http://united4iran.com/2010/06/take-action-halt-the-execution-of-zeinab-jalalian/

      http://planet-iran.com/index.php/news/17882

      Dozens of political prisoners are also being murdered at the moment by the authorities.

    8. AF — on 5th July, 2010 at 2:26 am  

      If the Spittoon lot were in charge of a Muslim or non-Muslim country praying and fasting and wearing a hijab or having a beard would probably carry the death penalty.

    9. MaidMarian — on 5th July, 2010 at 9:37 am  

      Well, with respect Rumbold an awful lot of people put faith in the UN to the extent that they were willing to base a decision on war on Iraq on the basis of what the UN had to say. To dismiss the UN as a paper tiger is blithe and, worse, allows it to escape scrutiny. At least with the EU we had a referendum.

      ‘But I am more than happy for countries to co-operate on certain issues.’

      Which is what the EU does in large part.

      ‘And the article wasn’t meant to imply an endorsement or dismissal of the UN as a body, merely that it exists and that we should try and make it work as well as we can.’

      Well that is part of the problem. The UN IS a political forum that should be endorsed or dismissed, that would make it work better. I dismiss the UN human rights council and think that it underminse the UN mechanism.

    10. Don — on 5th July, 2010 at 10:32 am  

      I don’t trust the UN to put real value on women’s rights, they will always be seen as something to be negotiated away for a higher priority. Iran’s presence, as others have said, makes this a travesty.

    11. earwicga — on 5th July, 2010 at 5:51 pm  

      I was a bit out when I said ‘dozens’ above - the Guardian reports that ‘more than a hundred’ have already been executed above and there are at least 40-50 women who have already been sentenced to death by stoning and are awaiting their murder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/02/iranian-woman-stoning-death-penalty

    12. Rumbold — on 5th July, 2010 at 7:37 pm  

      MaidMarian:

      In this regards, I don’t think the UN has that much power. It can never do much of its own accord, unlike the EU, which has a massive and expanding permanent staff, and has managed to create a system where EU law is superior to national law.

    13. Stanislaw — on 5th July, 2010 at 9:07 pm  

      The United Nations currently is unsuited to having human rights councils. The problem in part is that it was created to facilitate dialogue and peace between countries at the level of states, not at the level of ordinary people. While even the founding of the UN was progress in itself, it still means that in practice it puts the rights of states before those of their individual citizens.

      Consequently while it can do some good, in other respects it can be indifferent to and even used as weapon against the cause of human rights, as the grotesque examples like Iran and Zimbabwe sitting on the human rights council show. They use the world stage to achieve a sort of spurious legitimacy on this matter, and to deflect possible criticism away from themselves by scapegoating others. For many countries which abuse the human rights of their own citizens, the UN functions as a sort of mutual support group.

      As a liberally-inclined person, I believe universal human rights should take precedence over national sovereignty if the two conflict. That is why I have for a long time had a rather cool opinion of the UN as it currently is. That is not to blame the idea of having a UN itself - it is up to member states themselves whether they subscribe to and foster the progressive spirit that was behind the founding of the UN - or simply exploit it to selfish and unjust ends. Although I believe in the possibilty of the UN as a force for good and for for hope, I am sadly not surprised that in reality it sometimes it functions to obstruct the cause of universal human rights.

    14. bananabrain — on 6th July, 2010 at 9:59 am  

      *claps loudly for stanislaw*

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

    Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
    With the help of PHP and Wordpress.