I hope that the above title is somewhat of a rhetorical question. I would hope that, on balance, despite its many failings, the UN still counts for something in this sorry world.
However, when it gets down to a personal level, I find myself questioning whether the ideals in fact count for very much in the face of politics.
I read two weeks ago Paul Burston’s blog entry where he wrote that he sat down and wept at the news that of the United Nations panel’s decision to remove sexual orientation from an anti-execution resolution. As he said:
The resolution has contained a reference to lesbian and gay people since 1999. Today, it was announced that this has changed. Other groups are still covered, including those facing persecution on the grounds of religion. But not us.
According to Pink News, “the vast majority of countries in support of the change were African or Arabic” – ie, those countries with the worst records on human rights abuses against lesbians and gay men, countries where gay people are regularly stoned, flogged and publicly executed.
What surprised me is that I had not seen even a mention of this on any mainstream news web site (e.g. newspapers and the BBC), so I had hoped that Paul had been mistaken.
As William Crawley asks: Does the UN now support the execution of gays?
I take a little comfort from the fact that the UK’s Association of British Muslims has condemned the removal of the reference to sexual orientation in the resolution. That is a statement of support from what will seem a surprising group to many people.
I wrote yesterday that some of us are involved in a war that is not of our choosing. It now seems to me that there are more of us involved than I had at first appreciated.