Tag Archives: UN

Multilateralism in Cancun? Who are we deceiving?

18 Dec

Unlike the Copenhagen Summit last year, COP 16 or the 16th Session of the Conference of the Parties in Mexico, Cancun, has occurred with less media attention. Perhaps the pathetic agreements achieved in the last conference had diminished public expectations and soured hopes of a possible breakthrough for this year.

Continue reading


Relevance of Universal Periodic Review in Singapore’s case

31 Oct

In its report to the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Singaporeans for Democracy (SFD), an NGO promoting local and regional democracy and human rights, focused on the city state’s electoral system, which it claims, is the root cause of all human rights abuses. While this is a commendable effort in drawing attention to the shortcomings of the electoral system and appears to coincide with upcoming general elections, its appraisals and recommendations may be of little relevance to the review due to the tenuous and indirect links between free and fair elections and human rights violations. It remains at best, speculative, that open and independent elections would naturally create conducive factors leading to human rights promotion. Moreover, the UPR is tasked to deal with specific human rights violations. As such, NGOs should have chosen to focus on these issues such as the death penalty. While Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights (UDHR) affirms the right of all peoples to representative government, this is not explicitly suggested by the SFD report. This article, divided into two parts, briefly describe the history, procedures, strengths and shortcomings of the UPR, before situating within the Singapore context.
Continue reading

Israeli attack on Gaza Flotilla condemned by UN Mission

26 Sep

A UN mission, established under the mandate of the Human Rights Council to look into the Israeli attack on the Gaza Flotilla earlier this year, has released a report condemning the former for violating various international human rights and humanitarian law during the interception and detention of passengers in Israel.
Continue reading

Comparing international outcries to Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial verdict

12 Aug

It is one of those curiosities that the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs is able to see the silver lining in the verdict of Aung San Suu Kyi’s sham trial.

Continue reading

Has the West lost the plot by boycotting the UN Racism Conference?

21 Apr

When I first read about the boycott of the UN Racism Conference in Durban from major Western countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, and the United States, the first thought that came to me was, ‘why?’. Continue reading

A sign of failure from the UN ?

13 Jan

On the 9th Special Session of the Human Rights Council: “The Grave Violations of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including the recent aggression in the occupied Gaza Strip” – Friday, which was adopted on 9 January, 33 nation states recorded in favour of the resolution, with one opposing and 13 abstaining.

Continue reading

Implications of Suu Kyi’s refusal to meet Gambari…

12 Sep

Any wonder why the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate has chosen not to meet up with UN envoy, Ibrahim Gambari?

According to Kyaw Zwa Moe, in Irrawaddy’s, ‘The UN’s Dangerous Detour‘, the UN has been bending itself over backwards in promoting the interests of the military junta and its ‘road map’ to democracy. He wrote, it ‘was more than a disappointment: it was a disgrace’. The writer also added that Gambari was pushing for a nation-wide 2010 elections, which was originally part of the junta’s ‘road map’. The envoy further assured that the UN would monitor this election to ensure that it is conducted in a ‘free and fair’ manner. Continue reading