Tags: Lieberman | 'Dismayed' | U.N. | Rights | Commission | Vote

Lieberman 'Dismayed' by U.N. Rights Commission Vote

Monday, 07 May 2001 12:00 AM

The United States, in a four-nation race for three available seats, did not garner enough votes to stay on the 53-member commission.

"The United States now becomes an observer on the U.N. Human Rights Commission, but we can, indeed we must, remain actively engaged in defending human rights throughout the world," Lieberman, the failed Democrat nominee for vice president in the 2000 election and a co-sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act, said in a speech Friday.

"We have lost our vote but not our voice," he continued.

Lieberman speculated that the results of the U.N. vote "may reflect widespread dissatisfaction with what is perceived to be a go-it-alone attitude in foreign affairs by the new administration."

America's friends and allies "have reacted negatively to a number of President Bush's pronouncements and policies, including rejection of the Kyoto Climate Change Treaty, his opposition to the International Criminal Court, and his willingness to abandon the ABM Treaty before we have a workable missile defense plan in place," he said.

The vote against the United States "clearly demonstrates that there can be unanticipated and damaging consequences to our actions on the world stage," Lieberman continued.

Lieberman is the chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, the ranking minority member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Following is the text of Lieberman's speech Friday from the Congressional Record:

I rise to express my dismay at the Economic and Social Council's vote yesterday removing the United States from membership on the United Nations Human Rights Commission for the first time since its inception in 1946.

The United States was a founding member of this distinguished body and has been an active member since its establishment. Under the chairmanship of Eleanor Roosevelt, the U.S. was instrumental in helping to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the very first work of the Commission and one that deeply reflects longstanding and treasured American values. For over 50 years, the United States has worked within the Commission to codify fundamental human rights and practices. Through the Commission we have also fought for vigorous investigations of grave breaches of human rights wherever they occurred and have raised our voice in defense of freedom on behalf of those whose own voices were silenced.

The Commission's membership has grown along with the membership in the United Nations as newly independent nations have joined the world bodies. However, the inclusion of countries with extremely poor human rights records, such as Sudan and Cuba, on the Commission is troubling. And it means that we will have to work even harder to promote universal standards so that one day all people can enjoy the freedom, liberty and equality we too often take for granted here at home.

We may never know why so many countries voted against us in the secret balloting. I am afraid, however, that it may reflect widespread dissatisfaction with what is perceived to be a go-it-alone attitude in foreign affairs by the new administration. Our friends and allies have reacted negatively to a number of President Bush's pronouncements and policies, including rejection of the Kyoto Climate Change Treaty, his opposition to the International Criminal Court, and his willingness to abandon the ABM Treaty before we have a workable missile defense plan in place. This vote clearly demonstrates that there can be unanticipated and damaging consequences to our actions on the world stage. The U.S. cannot take our friends for granted and must remain vigilant against the anti-U.S. efforts of our enemies.

The United States now becomes an observer on the U.N. Human Rights Commission but we can, indeed we must, remain actively engaged in defending human rights throughout the world. We have lost our vote but not our voice. The Commission will be weaker without our membership and our leadership. But the real losers in yesterday's election were the oppressed, people in many parts of the world who desperately need the support of the United States and the United Nations to stop abuses of their basic rights and to bring the light of freedom into their lives.

I am terribly disappointed by the vote against U.S. membership on the Commission. However, we must not allow this vote to deter our efforts to promote and defend human rights around the world. Our commitment and leadership in advancing freedom, equality and justice for all people derives from the principles on which our Nation was founded and which continue to guide us today.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
The United States, in a four-nation race for three available seats, did not garner enough votes to stay on the 53-member commission. The United States now becomes an observer on the U.N. Human Rights Commission, but we can, indeed we must, remain actively engaged...
Lieberman,'Dismayed',U.N.,Rights,Commission,Vote
749
2001-00-07
Monday, 07 May 2001 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved