(024) THE EU AND HUMAN RIGHTS AT THE UN: 2010 REVIEW Cover Image

(024) THE EU AND HUMAN RIGHTS AT THE UN: 2010 REVIEW
(024) THE EU AND HUMAN RIGHTS AT THE UN: 2010 REVIEW

Author(s): Richard Gowan, Franziska Brantner
Subject(s): International Law, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Governance
Published by: ECFR European Council on Foreign Relations
Keywords: human rights policy; human rights in UN;
Summary/Abstract: Over the last year, the EU has struggled to make an impact on human rights at the UN, despite working more closely with the Obama administration than it was able to do with the previous administration. As a result, it is now clear that deepening divisions over human rights at the UN were not just a by-product of Bushism. The EU’s ‘voting coincidence score’ – reflecting the level of support from other countries for its positions on human rights in the General Assembly – has fallen from 52% last year to 42% this year. There have also been splits within the EU on votes in the Human Rights Council on Israeli actions in the Middle East, which has weakened the EU’s reputation for coherence on fundamental values at the UN. This update – the second annual update to ECFR’s 2008 report on the EU and human rights at the UN – underlines important longterm trends. The Obama administration’s policy of engagement at the UN has only persuaded a few countries to shift their stances on human rights and big non-Western democracies – especially Brazil – continue to drift away from the EU’s positions. Attempts to reverse this trend through technical reforms in the UN’s human rights system will likely fail. A European drive for broader UN reforms such as expanding the Security Council would be a gamble but could persuade rising powers to rethink their positions on human rights.

  • Page Count: 20
  • Publication Year: 2010
  • Language: English