International policy statements sometimes attract attention because they deal with serious matters, such as human rights, concerning which an important speech was made to the UN Security Council on April 18 by US Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Ambassador Haley declared that “When a state begins to systematically violate human rights, it is a sign, it is a red flag, it’s a blaring siren – one of the clearest possible indicators that instability and violence may follow and spill across borders.” She singled out Burma, Cuba, Burundi, Iran, North Korea and Syria for censure and urged the nations of the world to adopt a policy of “standing for human rights before the absence of human rights forces us to react.”
So it seems that the United States wishes to lead the world in penalizing countries judged guilty of violating human rights, which is a principled and admirable stance.
It is appalling that so many countries have no “respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion” as laid down in the UN Charter and quoted poignantly by Ambassador Haley. And one most effective action that human rights-abiding governments could take to ensure that offending countries would cease their hideous abuses against their citizens would be to end all cooperation with them because, as she observed, “It’s past time that we dedicate ourselves to promoting peace, security, and human rights.”
We must agree with…