Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Two UN Votes this week by the USA, both NO, both UNBELIEVABLE

Tonight is Christmas Eve. Something happened this week that I find unbelievable. I have thought about it for a couple of days and finally decided this was the time to post it. Later I will post something else. But now, this is one of those, you really won't believe this stories.

From Care 2 Make a Difference

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights celebrated its 60th anniversary this month, which is a great accomplishment. It has raised awareness around the world and has been a touchstone for rights workers everywhere. What I can't understand is why my country, the United States, continues to vote against resolutions that one would think any civilized nation could support.

Two important resolutions at the UN General Assembly were opposed by the U.S. last week. Maybe it was just a matter of semantics, and with some different wording our representative would have voted for them. But then I looked at the votes cast and it seems clear to me that every other nation did not have issues with the wording. It left me kind of disgusted at the powers that be.

The first was a resolution on the right to food, which would “consider it intolerable” that more than 6 million children continue to die every year before the age of 5 from hunger-related illness, when the planet can produce enough food to feed 12 billion people (twice the world’s population). One hundred and eighty nations voted in favor of making the "right to food" a basic human right, and the U.S. was the only country to vote against it.

The second was a resolution on the rights of the child, which asks nations to create an environment conducive to the well-being of all children, including the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the right to food, the eradication of poverty and the right to education. Again, 180 nations voted in favor, and the U.S. was the only vote against it.

Is this contrary attitude just a carryover from the Bush administration? Will Barack Obama's government change the way we interact with the world?

I certainly hope so.

It's high time we woke up and became good neighbors with the other residents here on Spaceship Earth.

From another blog posted at Crooks & Liars: By a vote of 180 in favour to 1 against (United States) and no abstentions, the Committee also approved a resolution on the right to food, by which the Assembly would “consider it intolerable” that more than 6 million children still died every year from hunger-related illness before their fifth birthday, and that the number of undernourished people had grown to about 923 million worldwide, at the same time that the planet could produce enough food to feed 12 billion people, or twice the world’s present population. (See Annex III.)

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