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News :: Human Rights : International : Politics
Louise Arbour Speaks about International Justice
15 Dec 2005
#media_8659;left# Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, spoke to Boston students at the JFK Library last week in a special event commemorating International Human Rights Day. Arbour’s address reflected on the 60th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials and discussed what needs to be done in today’s world to help end human suffering.
“Our efforts to protect life will forever fall short until we develop
that fuller understanding,” Arbour said, “an understanding which
requires us to acknowledge, and act on, the realization that
intervening to halt mass killings will never be as effective as our
aspirations demand without a more nuanced, more holistic understanding
of the ingredients of that right.

Arbour further stated that society needed to have a holistic view of
a ‘right to life.’ She was quick to state that her meaning of the
right to life was not the same as Christian conservatives on such
issues as abortion and euthanasia, but rather an understanding of
humanity’s basic needs. Many of these needs include providing access
to one billion people to safe water, another 2.6 billion to improved
sanitation and medication for 25 million people living with HIV, most
of whom living in the developing world.

“It is becoming increasingly apparent to many that in today’s world it
is not war or arbitrary killing that constitutes the greatest threat to
the right to life,” she said. “Each year, about 53,000 women die in
pregnancy or in childbirth, and more than 10 million children die
before their fifth birthday. The UN Development Programme suggests
that this alarming trend is ‘fast approaching the point that merits
declaration of an international health emergency…Even in the United
States, infant mortality rates are on the rise. These indicators
reveal inequalities linked to access to health care, as well as income,
race and ethnicity.”

Arbour got into trouble recently with the White House when she said to
a group of reporters that reports the US was using secret overseas
sites to interrogate suspects harmed its moral authority and she wanted
to inspect any allegations. "Two phenomena today are having an acutely
corrosive effect on the global ban on torture and cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment,” she said. “There are lots of human rights that
can be set aside temporarily in cases of emergencies, lots of them, but
not the right to life and not the protection against torture.”

US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton said that it is "inappropriate and
illegitimate for an international civil servant to second-guess the
conduct that we're engaged [in] the war on terror, with nothing more as
evidence than what she reads in the newspapers."

She stated at the event that she stands by her statement. “I encourage
Americans to get involved in the political process and hold their
government officials accountable and ask questions. In a democracy you
should be allowed to do that.” she said.

Following Arbour’s remarks a panel including survivors from every major
genocide in the last century – Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and
Sudan - address the many issues surrounding accountability and justice
for genocide survivors and victims.

“I am a Muslim and no one from the Muslim community came to save us,”
said Mohamed Yahya, a Darfur survivor. “We received so much help from
the Jewish people and Christians. It was so painful to see most of
your family die and people who share your religion don’t stop the

Mardi Seng survived the Khmer Rouge killings and lost most of his
family. He left Cambodia for America in 1980. “When I came to America
I saw this movie from the 1950s about the Holocaust,” he said. “The
movie said that this wouldn’t happen again. If that was true my mother
would be here today.”

Sonia Weitz, a Holocaust survivor, said the same thing after the
Nuremberg Trials. “There was a time I said never again,” she said. “
But I should have known better. I look at this panel and say we should
have done better.”

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Re: Louise Arbour Speaks about International Justice
15 Dec 2005
Didn't the U.N put cuba and libyia on the human rights commission?
The UN is a tool of US and European imperialism
15 Dec 2005
Ask this "human rights" expert about UN troops massacring pro-democracy demonstrators in Haiti.

And don't forget the Korean war and sanctions against Iraq, plus the fact that the Darfur hulabaloo-media-circus is a plan to get US corporations in ownership of Sudan's oil and natural gas, now belonging to China.

Build the fourth international, fuck the UN.
Re: Louise Arbour Speaks about International Justice
16 Dec 2005
what's the "fourth international?" forgive my ignorance
Re: Louise Arbour Speaks about International Justice
16 Dec 2005
The 4th international is a revisionist running dog political formation founded by pathetic Trotskyists. It does nothing but talk, talk, talk, then divdes into smaller and smaller sub factions that squable and bicker over who was closer to Trotshy and his political line. All members of the Fourth International try to expel all others in their tiny sect.
Re: Louise Arbour Speaks about International Justice
16 Dec 2005
Comrad Ulyanov

how is that different than 90% of all radical groups rigth and left?
Re: Louise Arbour Speaks about International Justice
16 Dec 2005
Wow! "Right to Life" as a socialist slogan. What a genius. Wow. And a Woman too. This is really good.
Re: UN is a Tool of US and European Imperialism
20 Dec 2005
Modified: 10:25:33 AM
I'm not a Trotskyist. But the person who posted as Leon Trotsky was substantially correct in what he said about Haiti, Korea, Iraq, Sudan, and about the United Nations. Regardless of what anyone might think of Trotsky or the 4th International, we still need to agree with correct statements even when they come from Trotskyists.
Re: Louise Arbour Speaks about International Justice
20 Dec 2005
More nonsense that none of you can understand because none of you have been on the ground in Korea, Iraq, Haiti on most of the other places you think you know about. Keep the fiction coming!
Re: Louise Arbour Speaks about International Justice
20 Dec 2005
Veteran, where were did you serve and what was your MOS?

I'm curious what makes you so much more enlightened about international politics than the rest of us.
Re: Louise Arbour Speaks about International Justice
20 Dec 2005
Veteran is one of those anonymous posters who LOVES to come off as being mighter-than-thou without actually providing any credentials or supporting evidence of his point-of-view. Good luck in getting him/her/it to respond with any factual data about what makes his opinion any better or less fictional than the rest of the folks who post on this site.
Re: Louise Arbour Speaks about International Justice
21 Dec 2005
I have been on the ground in the West Bank, Israel, and the Gaza Strip. I was on the ground in New Orleans in September. My oldest friend was on the ground in Korea for two years. Two of my neighbors have been on the ground in Haiti several times for months at a time. I know well several people who have been on the ground in Iraq. I just finished talking to a good friend who had been on the ground in Venezuela and Bolivia. My ex-roommate was born on the ground in Colombia. Where does this idea come from that only soldiers get on the ground? Activists get on the ground all the time. They get shot at and killed, too. Soldiers have no monopoly on groundedness.
By the way, my partner is an ex-soldier. She was on the ground in Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and New York. Soldiering is no guarantee of overseas groundedness.
Re: Louise Arbour Speaks about International Justice
07 Jan 2006
I love it when Americans argue and feel so superior to one another!So much confusion and bitterness i n the USA.Spoiled rotten cry babies pretend to care about the Third World that they exploit and suck the life from.Without the poor Third World Americans would not be so fat,spoiled and decadent.I pray the day will come when most Americans know what it's like to be a Third World peasant,maybe then they'll stop talking and start a revolution and put their lives on the line.Until then Americans are the problem. The ugly American has no shame or morals.They feed off the misery of the world,and pretend to care about those they exploit and murder.No sin is to great. Victory to the Iraqi Resistance and to the Intifada.No justice no Peace.The Christian/Zionist crusaders holy war against Islam will be defeated.Islam will fight back.
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