Since 2006 the UN’s Human Rights Council has been monitoring United Nations member’s records on things like judicial systems, democracy, and media freedom. America only joined last year, so this year was the first time the post-war leader of the Western world has had its record challenged, and it had to listen to stinging criticisms from such enemies as Iran, Lybia, and Cuba.
However on issues such as America’s retention of the death penalty it also had to suffer harsh words from allies like France and Britain, too.
“Our country’s Declaration of Independence, the constitution, the Bill of Rights, are not simply words written into ageing parchment. They are the foundation of liberty and justice in our country and a light that shines to all who seek freedom, fairness, equality and dignity in the world. We take out place in the UPR process with pride in our accomplishments, honesty in facing continuing challenges, and a commitment to using the international system to elevate and advance the protection of human rights at home and abroad,” insisted the US delegation’s leader Ester Brimmer.
Criticisms of the US’s conduct in Iraq and Afghanistan added to the embarrassment, and there was also a 400-page document on civil rights abuses in America compiled by over 300 domestic NGOs, so the occasion was more than just a chance for America’s enemies to get some of their own back in an international forum.