Don't let wolves guard the henhouse

May 15, 2006

Miami Herald- Editorial Opinion

The election of notorious human-rights violators, including Cuba, to the new U.N. Human Rights Council last week doesn't bode well for the council's future. This was the body that was supposed to replace the United Nations' human-rights commission, which was discredited after such violators became members and sabotaged its work.

The U.N. reform was intended to ensure that the world's best defenders of freedom and human rights got to sit on the council, thereby raising the human-rights bar for everyone. Having some of the world's worst oppressors -- Cuba, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Azerbaijan -- at the same table defies the purpose. Why should these wolves guard the hen house? Governments that routinely violate fundamental freedoms in their own countries shouldn't be setting the standards for anyone else.

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