The Greens want us to oppose Australia’s bid for a seat on the UNHRC

The Green Party want us to oppose Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Most of their reasoning is on the?basis that Australia is treating detainees poorly.

NZ UN Monitor says this is wrong and explains why we should be supporting Australia not boycotting them.

The New Zealand government was urged?to speak out against alleged Australian human rights breaches during the standard four-yearly periodic United Nations review of Australia?s human rights record held at the UN earlier this week. At the same time, New Zealand?s Green Party also urged the government not to support Australia?s upcoming bid for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The Green Party is wrong on this issue. New Zealand should welcome and unequivocally support Australia?s bid for a seat on the UNHRC, even while does in fact speak up at the UN in relation to Australia?s human rights record.

Australia?s human rights record at home, and reputation for seeking to uphold international human rights, is far superior to, and cannot possibly be compared with, that of other UNHRC members such as Saudi Arabia, a country that beheaded more people than Islamic State this year, or Togo and Ethiopia, countries that restrict the press and punish homosexuals, or Burundi, where an authoritarian government restricts freedom of speech, or UAE, where political dissidents are tortured, or Kyrgyzstan, where there is impunity for violence against LGBT citizens, or Laos, where the government mocked a damning UN review, or Pakistan, where?extrajudicial killings and discrimination against minority religions are common, or even Ecuador, where news reports are interrupted by government censors, and Venezuela, where government corruption is rampant.

Having Australia on the UNHRC will provide a counterbalance to these more concerning and hypocritical state appointments.

Only the Green Party could possibly have the wonky logic that Australia is a heinous abuser of human rights whilst Saudi Arabia warrants no criticism whatsoever. But then again they support rapists and criminals and one MP even thinks that rapists are “not all monsters”.

Rather than seek to block Australia?s ascendance to the UNHRC, New Zealand, and those that seek to punish Australia, should focus on condemning the ongoing human rights abuses in China, Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan,Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Zimbabwe and question the United Nations system itself, in relation to the appointment to the UNHRC of those members listed above.


If the human rights situation in Australia, over-and-above those items raised by New Zealand, is deemed to be sufficiently grave for some groups to call for?New Zealand to not?support?Australia gaining a seat?on the UNHRC, then why are?they silent when more serious questions need to be asked of the existing UNHRC members, of which only 38% are considered ?free? countries, and how they secured their places?on the UNHRC.

Very good points, ones clearly ignored, either through ignorance or deliberately by the Green Party.