Friday, October 9, 2009

Traditional Values

In a rare break from its long term strategy of attempting to dictate newly conceived so called rights on everyone, the UN Human Rights Council last Friday approved a resolution tabled by the Russian Federation, “Promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms through a better understanding of traditional values of humankind”

The resolution which cites the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, calls for the holding of a workshop to be held in 2010 for an exchange of views on how a better understanding of traditional values of humankind underpinning international human rights norms and standards can contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Needless to say this resolution was strenuously opposed by the countries that are trying to impose their own values on mankind. The EU attempted to amend the resolution to enforce the concept that “traditional values” should be “consistent with and subordinate to human rights standards.” When this proposition was rejected the EU declined to enter consensus and the resolution was put to a vote. The resolution was carried by 26 votes to 15 with 6 abstentions.

The EU in explaining their reasons for rejection seem to have failed to grasp the difference between “values” and “practices” and while accepting that it was not the intention of the proposers, attempted to equate the concept of traditional values with unacceptable traditional practices such as female genital mutilation despite references in the resolution to the commonality of a set of values that belong to humankind in its entirety appearing across all cultures and civilizations,

The US also voted against the resolution on the basis that the concept of traditional values was undefined.