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March 2012
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U.N. ignores human rights

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition reports from the UN Drug Policy Meeting in Vienna.

Even while several Latin American presidents are calling for an outright debate on drug legalization, delegates at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting this week failed to even discuss a change in the global prohibitionist drug treaties, reports a group of judges, prosecutors and jailers who were at the meeting in Vienna to promote reform.

During consideration of a U.S.-sponsored resolution to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first laws banning opium, Norway’s delegation attempted to insert the phrase “while observing human rights,” but even this move encountered resistance from the US delegation, which preferred not to mention human rights.

“Fundamentally, the three UN prohibitionist treaties are incompatible to human rights. We can have human rights or drug war, but not both,” said Maria Lucia Karam, a retired judge from Brazil and a board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

Richard Van Wickler, currently a jail superintendent in New Hampshire, adds, “I suppose it’s not shocking that within the context of a century-long bloody ‘war on drugs’ the idea of human rights is a foreign concept. Our global drug prohibition regime puts handcuffs on millions of people every year while even the harshest of prohibitionist countries say that drug abuse is a health issue. What other medical problems do we try to solve with imprisonment and an abandonment of human rights?”

The UN meeting, the 55th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, comes amidst a rapidly emerging global debate on the appropriateness of continuing drug prohibition and whether legalization and regulation would be a better way to control drugs. In recent weeks, Presidents Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica and Felipe Calderon of Mexico have added their voices to the call for a serious conversation on alternatives to drug prohibition.

“Unfortunately, none of these powerful Latin American voices were heard during the official sessions of the UN meeting,” says Judge Karam. “In the halls of the UN building in Vienna we did speak to delegates who agree that the drug war isn’t working and that change is needed, but these opinions were not voiced when they counted the most. During the meetings, all the Member States remained voluntarily submissive to the U.N. dictates that required that all speak with a ‘single voice’ that mandated support for prohibition.”

Apparently the U.N. drug policy discussions have forgotten the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which supposedly is to have supremacy over all other U.N. treaties…

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

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12 comments to U.N. ignores human rights

  • ezrydn

    The United Nations has become nothing but another Scum Bucket. Rising to their own level of Incompetence. They’re proof of the Peter Principle (I think it was called.) Their rules are a mismash of outdated ideas. Their “forces” are a laughing stock. They’re another “cancer” the new President will have to eradicate from our shores. The sooner, the better. Move them to Somolia!

  • claygooding

    There is just too much money in it to ever have a political assembly of any kind agree to ending the wosd.

    We,the people will have to take our right to cannabis and putting hemp back on the open market by sheer over loading of their judicial systems,,oh,,that’s already happening,,then quit plea bargaining,,,if even 10% more of accused people will ask for a trial by jury,,this crqppola will stop,,,give a chance for jury nullification to become the norm.

    Especially in simple possession charges!!!

  • […] ignores human rights U.N. ignores human rights DrugWarRant / Pete Guither / 3,17,2012 Law Enforcement Against Prohibition reports from the UN […]

  • “banning opium [and esp Coca]” meaning protecting CIGARETTES.

    These drug warriors ended up banning things that do not kill when used as directed, in favor of the which does- a complete fraud upon a populace with too many dopes…

    The sales chart of cigarettes on page 230 of Breechers’ Licit and Illicit Drugs showing the upturns cir 1906, 1914 and 1937 speaks volumes about this criminal mercantilism.

    http://freedomofmedicineanddiet.blogspot.com/2011/03/drug-war-tobacco-pharma-agricultural.html

  • Servetus

    Steven Weinberg’s famous quote about religion works if the word ‘prohibition’ replaces the word ‘religion’ in his sentence:

    With or without prohibition, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes prohibition.

    Probably few if any prohibitionist war criminals at the UN believe they do evil things; and it appears they believe everything they think.

  • […] a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights […]

    or… just bust down their doors, shoot ’em or lock ’em up. Whichever…

    As far as the UN ignoring Latin America? Duh, they’re not white folk. Who cares if they have an opinion?

    I’d like to know if they gave all the assorted dpr NGOs an area larger than a small table this year…

    So where is drug policy reform’s George Clooney? Props to George for shining a light on darkness.

  • OT… but this schmuck sux (he’s not as cute as he thinks he is):

    Sorry, stoners – the war on drugs is a necessary evil that’s here to stay

    and just curious… anyone notice an uptick in the use of that word, “evil,” by the Prohibs? I’ve added drugs evil into my googlenews search terms, just in case.

  • n.t. greene

    Human rights are fundamentally incompatible with perpetual war and a prison industrial complex.

    Who’s surprised that the US opposed the injection of rights when corporate profits hinge on their expendability?

  • gravyrug

    “What other medical problems do we try to solve with imprisonment and an abandonment of human rights?”

    Ummm, mental health, for one. Mind you, there’s a lot of overlap with drug issues, but here in TX, the prison system is the largest provider of mental health services.