Image Monks in Burma taking to their Universal Human Right. Burma will be country number 7 in the Periodic Review.
Every four years, the 192 member countries of the United Nations review Human Rights. This means that in just 4 days the reports on Human Rights go under the UN microscope, and therefore under the general public views.
The Universal Periodic Review “has great potential to promote and protect human rights in the darkest corners of the world.” said Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General. So far not much media noise, but soon there will be (or so we hope). The Universal Periodic Review is not a matter of jokes, and has nothing to do with the Periodic table of the chemical universal elements, do you know what I mean?
Although, the review starts in 4 days, and no world wide media reported the existence of this review, it will happen. And the first review goes in this order, Nauru, Rwanda, Nepal, Saint Lucia, Oman, Austria, Burma (which the UN lists as Myanmar), Australia, Georgia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Namibia, Niger, Mozambique, Estonia and Paraguay. Yes, in that order.
Don’t ask me how I heard about the news, and do not ask me how the order came through, but do ask yourself many, many, many questions.
The Human Rights Council itself says this is a cooperative process which, by 2011, will have reviewed the human rights records of every country. Currently, no other universal mechanism of this kind exists.
Don’t ask me what is up with obsession for the word Universal, but again, do ask yourself many, many, many questions. Ask yourseelf, for example, why have we not heard about it until now? Or better ask yourself what must it be like to have no human rights.
From this part of the globe, we hope this time, the effectiveness of United Nations is swift and strong, mostly because we lament to hear it being referred to as "United Nothing" in the neglected dark corners of the world. Is this a good opportunity to revert the reputation, or is this a good opportunity for a stand down?
Guess we will have to wait, until slippery 24th of January. Wait just some days. But have no doubt about it, a detailed and serious report, will be reported by us, part of the General Public, the MEDIA and PRESS. We also fancy ourselves Universal, and have a lot to say about Human Rights.