22 Apr U.S. Defeats UN Human Rights Commission Resolution on Guantanamo
In a little noticed vote, the U.S. defeated a resolution (8-22) that would have required the U.N. Human Rights Commission to request the U.S. government establish and impartial and independent fact-finding investigation into the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay (an account of the vote can be found here at the bottom of the release). China, Cuba, Sudan, and Zimbabwe were among the 8 countries voting for the resolution.
These sorts of silly votes reveal, I think, that the UNHCR is seen by most countries merely as a forum for diplomatic showmanship without any serious commitment to neutral legal principles of human rights. (which is why, as Peggy noted here, Kofi Annan has proposed scrapping its current form.) Even if you think the U.S. deserves some international condemnation for Guantanamo, it would be galling to join governments like China, Cuba, and Sudan in condemning the U.S. Those same countries had, at the very same session, blocked a resolution that would have condemned the Sudanese government over the atrocities in Darfur and forced through a milder resolution assigning no blame.