Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

UN Human Rights Council

Delivered in Plenary - 24th February 2010

Mr President

The Human Rights Council has undoubtedly laudable aims but it is seriously compromised by some of its members. Many of them have scant respect for human rights and democracy including Cuba, China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Nicaragua and Gabon – and Iran, as a potential candidate – to name just a few. Clearly, therefore, this body has little substantive moral authority. It is all the EU has to engage with at UN level and it is nevertheless doing some good work on food security and the rights of the child. However, they attack Israel’s human rights record obsessively but their own contempt for human rights often escapes scrutiny.

This Parliament’s resolution rightly highlights that the 13th session omits to mention the serious human rights problems associated with regimes like Guinea-Conakry, Afghanistan, Iran and Yemen. Secondly, this resolution makes reference to the CIA and extraordinary rendition. We should think twice before attacking our American allies when they are still shouldering a vastly disproportionate burden of responsibility for our security in the European Union.