Wednesday, December 19, 2012

International Organization Interdependence and Human Rights

“The existence of such international moral interdependencies crucially depends on the activities of transnational networks of human rights organizations which construct local human rights violations as global problems which require governance beyond the nation-state.” (Kruck, Rittberger & Zangl, 242)

The United States can ensure (and contain through sometime dishonest justifications) their domestic civil rights just as the European Council is able to ensure and contain so-called human rights regionally, but as far as global human rights exist, the international organizations (and nation-states) on the global stage fall under rank order beneath the United Nations hegemon of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Global human rights and humanitarian efforts can only be achieved as long as they do not infringe upon the economic, military and political interests of these five nation-states or their allies (both nation-state and private sector) in political and economic interests.

International non-governmental organizations, civil society actors such as Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch, often generate useful information on alleged human rights violations in nation-states. Depending on the political and economic interests of the permanent members of the Security Council, information generated by civil society actors can either be utilized as international propaganda to gain international support for sanctions and possible military action, such as what occurred in Libya, or can be simply ignored due to differing interests within the permanent Security Council member-states, such is the current case with Syria and has long been the case with Israeli military aggression against the Palestinians.

“The preamble of the UN Charter reaffirms ‘faith’ in fundamental human rights, the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small” (Kruck, Rittberger and Zangl, 243)

The United Nations charter is empty of sincerity and is complete hypocrisy. There can be no true framework for global human rights if those rights only exist for some, not all. How can it be viewed otherwise? A prime example of this hypocrisy was in 2011 when the United States, one of the most powerful permanent members of the UN Security Council, boycotted the UN sponsored Durban World Conference on Racism in 2011 because the conference would address Israeli human rights allegations.  If this hypocrisy concerning human rights is so openly displayed for all nation-states to see, then why even pretend there is a Santa Clause?

In short form, IOs and NGOs can apply pressure and provide information, statistics and proposals to the main IGO (UN) for human rights issues and the UN can use that information in earnest efforts to affirm human rights, use the information for to gather international support for corrupt political aims, or simply ignore the information altogether.

Kruck, Rittberger, & Zangl, International Organization, 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

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