Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


'Profound' Arrogance at UN

'Profound' Arrogance at UN

Discussion with Islamic academic on global ethical human rights


I consider it an arrogant gross abuse of power by the bureaucratic elites at the UN in disregarding history to reinvent human rights to emphasize elite interests rather than individual rights which Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) are meant to protect e.g, people are not numbers.

I also deeply and strongly feel the arrogance is profound, in thinking it is only they who ‘know’ (whereas in my personal opinion only God knows).

And, they then use the UDHR as their authority to justify what is essentially an elitist human rights agenda which I consider seriously jeopardizes the future of the declaration and if the discontented cannot get justice peacefully their only recourse may be violence..

Below is a discussion with Assistant Professor of Law, Atika Lohani, University of Sargodha (International Islamic University, Pakistan). She is the first academic in the global establishment prepared to discuss global ethical human rights since my book, which outlined the ethical approach, was published in 2008 and later recommended on the UN website for about two years.

I consider ‘neoliberal absolutism’ was created on 10 December 2008 when the whole UDHR was made compatible with IMF globalization policies which focus on elites and the Corporations resulting in human rights now being based on elite interests rather than individual rights (see my article, ‘A Great World can be achieved by Great States ensuring ethical human rights ‘bottom-line’, 8 Jan 2014,http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/01/08/18748916.php

Global ethical human rights is an ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization, based on the individual, to replace the, by far the most dominant, global ideology, ‘neoliberal absolutism’ (see description of ethical approach at bottom of my article, ‘Global turn-around: to persuade Western Powers to adopt ‘bottom-up’ ethical human rights’, 4 March 2014,http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/03/04/18751943.php ).

Ethical human rights requires that all should have, at the very least, the core minimum of all the rights in the UDHR. In human rights terms, ‘the ends do not justify the means’ so it is considered that the present focus on reducing extreme poverty should not be at the expense of individual freedoms which certainly appears to be the case e.g. Bangladesh is considered a success story in reducing extreme poverty but its famed microloan scheme is politically out of favor ( see ‘Yunus flays Bangladesh’s ‘destruction’ of Grameen Bank’, Hindustantimes, 6 Nov 2013, http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/yunus-flays-bangladesh-s-destruction-of-grameen-bank/article1-1147750.aspx and also UNDP Bangladesh, 2011 data, http://www.undp.org.bd/mdgs.php ).

Consequently while ‘survival rights’ are being addressed it seems to be at the serious neglect of ‘self-help rights’ (see a ‘voice for the poor’, cost minimal, discussed below).

It is like giving a person a fish without a fishing rod – even with better education it offers virtually no hope for the great majority especially in a world with rapidly increasing inequality.

But more sinister, in my view, it requires the elimination of independent thought and consequently the seeking of truth i.e. it means the crushing of the human spirit and potential, including spiritual potential (see the above articles).

In my view, this has dire consequences for the future of humanity e.g. severely limiting the growth of human knowledge with the ‘nil’ to ‘minus’ GDP growth outcomes of many States in the European Union very likely an indication of this.

That is why ethical human rights is very firm - that BOTH ‘survival rights’ and ‘self-help rights’ are required – without one or the other or without both constitutes slavery. The State cannot give ‘food’ with one hand and take away ‘freedom’ with the other (or vice versa) in order to keep people perpetually enslaved.

Ethical human rights is about freedom with social responsibility e.g. you cannot have large numbers at the bottom of the social scale with very few opportunities in life and say you live in a free country.

Much more needs to be written on this subject which I intend to do in my present book (I have another contract with Lexington Books, Maryland, USA, on the subject, Replacing Neoliberal Absolutism; ethical human rights, development and globalization).

The discussion on the social networking sites began talking about a 'voice for the poor' and women followed by ethical human rights:

Abhijeet Sinha is Advisor and Director ASSAR (network & support program for Social Welfare Initiatives) was the first to respond to my post concerning the UN International Women’s Day Awards & Workshop at New Delhi.

Anthony Ravlich An important principle of the ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization is that the poor should have a voice of their own in the mainstream media so they can influence the democratic majority (cost minimal). And the latter would include poor women e.g. in NZ Maori 'tribal' underclass I think women are very loath to report violent abuse because they would be seen as 'narcs'. I think the voices of these poor women would be far more authentic than the prevailing 'middle class', professional women who may be well-meaning but I think very detached from the human family given what I see as the extremely political interpretation of the UDHR being currently followed.

Abhijeet Sinha anthony ravlich you are absolutely right - poor should have a voice of their own in the mainstream media so they can influence the democratic majority (cost minimal).

Atika Lohani I appreciate that as well. But if poor women have no access to the platform to raise voice? then? like if whole system is repressive and repressive institutions do not let any one to have voice? The systems are embedded to curb the poor and in return poor have lost any urge to raise the voice. At such point anyone is needed to lit the candle. I am talking from completely different cultural standpoint. The problem I raise although needs somehow kick-start from others but its ultimate goal should be like you mention that " voices of poor women " should be arranged to be heard. Unfortunately all the movements do not work for this end rather they end up or continue as an oligarch does.

Anthony Ravlich I have had much contact with warrior 'tribal' Maori in the urban area, Auckland - they are too afraid (understandably) to stand up to their elite for a share in compensation paid by NZers who in past history took much of their land. Maori at bottom are treated very badly. My plan involves fighting for ethical human rights to be reflected in domestic human rights law (many omitted human rights) which I consider will give them greater independence and a voice. It just takes one very brave Maori to claim his/her rights and, for example, 'speak out' about the failure to share compensation. But the support of law in the latter situation and the situation you are describing would very likely be essential.

Anthony Ravlich Further to the above I should be careful not to offer too much hope after all many Maori have left the country e.g. one in six are said to live in Australia, and they would probably have seen next to no hope of getting a share in the compensation. And exceedingly few NZers will even talk about this injustice such is the fear that exists. In the situation you describe it may even be very difficult promoting ethical human rights in the State. However, because its a globalized world I consider it necessary to also have ethical human rights reflected in international human rights law. So if you can't promote ethical human rights within your country you can fight for it at the global level. Because this is a peaceful approach I will be attributing any violence that occurs primarily to the failure of descent-based elites domestic and international i.e. at the UN, to ensure all the human rights for people - they also make sure people are kept very ignorant of them (see ch1 of my book). It is patently obvious that they have reinvented UDHR, based on 1000s of yrs of human history, to emphasis elites rather than individuals (see my articles). They are arrogant elites who think they KNOW. And what they have done amounts to an arrogant gross abuse of power, in fact, in my view, 'a global crime against humanity'

Atika Lohani Dear Anthony I am thinking and trying to articulate ethical human rights approach Vis-a-vis bottom- up ideology. When you talk about these vulnerable groups and the efforts to bring a systematic inclusion of ethical human rights agenda, and you propose and choose this systematic approach to enable those oppressed getting their voices heard, is'nt it a top-down approach to achieve bottom-up system? I think its another top-down approach to help those who have learned to live under oppression.

Atika Lohani I understand ethical human rights approach would stand to justify non-justiceable social and economic rights. Having realised the impact of international law problem in dealing with ICCPR , ICSECR, which culminated in those group of rights being continuously treated as non justiceable rights. But if one chooses to change international law's interpretation of whole Charter of human rights according to ethical human rights approach it gives impression as you need to stress a different top-down approach in an attempt to secure bottom-up agenda.

Anthony Ravlich Atika, I do not see it as ‘bottom-up’ ‘ideology’ e.g voice for the poor in the mainstream requires the inclusion of all grounds of non-discrimination as required by UDHR i.e. so the mainstream media cannot discriminate. The latter ‘self-help’ core minimum human rights are not user-pays – they are ensured. While I consider that the deprivation of basic survival e’g ‘food’ (because basic human needs cost little), like the deprivation of self-help, at the core minimum level is about power i.e. to enslave people.

But there is also a matter of justice to be dealt with. Because, in my view, those who have been deprived of many core minimums (and this also includes many ‘tall-poppies’ of all social classes who were treated just as badly) should be compensated (see my submission to the Auckland High Court, ‘Freedom is not an impossible dream’, where I describe many as having been ‘crushed and isolated’).

Article 8, UDHR, states: ‘Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law’.
Compensation, to begin with, could be achieved by directing affirmative action to those have been so cruelly treated (remember it also affected their future children, a number abused – those children need to know that the State admits what it did to their parents) - but once justice is done affirmative action need not apply What I am describing is not ideology – its all firmly based on the UDHR. ‘Bottom-up’ simply means ‘based on the individual’ (as per UDHR) rather than as at present ‘elites’ requiring ‘top-down’ which I consider resulted in enormous social mayhem which, of course, perversely justifies the need for their ‘near absolute’ ‘top-down’ control in perpetuity . You are the only academic since my book was published in 2008 (and later recommended on the UN website) who has been actually prepared to discuss ethical human rights (although I have received supportive comments by a number). I hope the above answers your challenging comments. Thank you.

Following the above I sent a message to Assistant Professor Lohani in response to an earlier discussion on twitter on the Golden Rule and ethical human rights both of which I see as reflecting a Universal Truth.

Anthony Ravlich Also I see ethical human rights (secular) as equating with the Golden Rule (do unto others..) believed in by major religions

Atika Lohani you are absolutely right

The following is my message sent after the above discussion:

Atika, you already (may) be aware, but when I said I considered ethical human rights as with golden rule reflects a Universal Truth I could say that because my universal beliefs which I try my best not to compromise connects me with an inner wisdom (spiritual) - without it I could not have come up with this plan - I was helped in so many ways. Thanks for your help, Tony

I believe it is God, Tony

Also, I agree with Socrates when he says 'I know nothing'. So I shouldn't say without God I couldn't have come up with the plan - lets say I find it really extremely difficult to believe. Its why I don't think I am absolutely right in anything - in my view, only God KNOWS. I wonder, because I do not know the mind of God, if this is a point being made re arrogance of the dominant elites who seem to think they KNOW, Tony

Atika, I do feel strongly deep down that that is the point being made, Tony - I like the quote from Shakespeare - that 'there are more things in heaven and earth than you have ever dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio'. While I really believe in ethical human rights - there are other things like awareness that there are other things which seem of a spiritual nature going on within and without - I believe I'm a person of reason (I have a brain), but its not all , all the best, Tony

END

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news