The naked emperor

October 15, 2020 by David Cumin
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I have a tremendous amount of respect for United Nations Watch – an organisation that isn’t afraid to call out a naked emperor, metaphorically speaking.

Dr David Cumin

The latest exposure of hypocrisy from the world body is the election of China, Russia, Pakistan, and Cuba to the United Nations Human Rights Council – some of the worst abusers of human rights around the world.

It seems, just as UN Watch exposes the egregious anti-Israel bias of the world body, that they are one of the only organisations speaking out.

UN Watch has a new feature on their website which allows you to compare the voting record of countries at the UN with respect to the anti-Israel resolutions. Since 2015, New Zealand has voted for 78 of the 108 anti-Israel resolutions and abstained on 20. Australia has voted for 25, abstained on 37, and voted against 36; Canada voted for 6, abstained on 12, and voted against 80. This is a similar analysis to what we have exposed before – New Zealand voting out of step with traditional allies.

It might be a different story if the staff at MFAT – those who advise our elected officials – could take a step back, search their conscience, and realise that the emperor is naked. Perhaps then New Zealand will uphold the values of equality and democracy that we espouse and we could play a role in helping reform the UN.

Sadly, at the moment, it seems either the staff members are too caught up in the impressive-sounding titles and people at the UN to notice, or they are aware but have to keep trade interests above human rights, or they are aware and just don’t care about the human rights. Either way, it’s not a pretty picture.

Dr David Cumin is co-director of the Israel Institute of New Zealand, among other roles.

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