Archive for June 1st, 2010


Human Rights

June 1, 2010

Over at Charles Crawfords blog……a link to which is to the right……there is something of note (there always is to be fair) to republish here.  I am not quoting Mr Crawford, but requoting something he has taken from a government report.

The Commission has also recommended the appointment of an Ambassador-at-Large for International Human Rights, who would work with the Minister of State to co-ordinate the efforts of diplomats and embassies in addressing international human rights, and oversee the work of a range of Special Envoys on thematic human rights issues – genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes; religious freedom; human trafficking; women’s rights, for example.

These could either be diplomats with a proven track record in these areas, or respected human rights campaigners from the NGO sector. The United States, the Netherlands and France have similar positions, and it is time the United Kingdom did too.

Such appointments would be an important demonstration of human rights being a centre-piece of foreign policy, not simply an after-thought. They would represent a serious expansion of the currently woefully under-staffed human rights and governance unit at the FCO.

It is hoped that someone slightly better equipped than…….Cathy Ashton in her role…….would be selected for this role.

Where to start with a divided nation like Ukraine? 

Holodmor?  Genocide according to Canada…..not according to the EU.

Bandera?  No hero according to the EU but hero to a small but very vocal percentage of Ukrainians.

Language?  Ukrainian, Russian, Tartar, Bularian…… many languages and minorities to defend and which to support?

Womens rights?

People Traffiking?

Press Freedom?

Parliamentary Immunity? 

Politicised Judiciary?

All in need of some form of attention here to varying degrees.

All in need of an uncompromised, direct and yet tactful public positions from the UK together with a strategy to impliment corrections with……or without……. governmental blessing here, where it can be achieved be it overtly or covertly…..carrot or stick.

I am not sure there is a need for an Ambassador of Ambassadors when it comes to human rights.  Any Ambassador worth the title in a particular nation will be the best informed diplomat relating to that nation.  What is the point of reporting back to another “Super Ambassador” instead of the Foregn Secretary?

Who is better to make the point to the foreign nation in question?  An Ambassador the nation sees all the time or a “passing ship” with imperious title?

Does it not undermine the position of the UK Ambassador in a particular nation to have a “Super Ambassador” drop by and then disappear having relayed the same message that would have been passed anyway?





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