U.N. condemns rights abuses in Iran, North Korea and Syria
By Michelle Nichols
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. General Assembly condemned North Korea, Iran and Syria on Thursday for widespread human rights abuses and all three countries rejected the separate resolutions adopted by the 193-member world body, slamming them as politicized.
The resolution on Syria, which was co-sponsored by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Britain, France and other Arab and Western states, received 135 votes in favor, 12 against and 36 abstentions.
The resolution on Iran, which was drafted by Canada and co-sponsored by other Western countries, passed in an 86-32 vote with 65 abstentions. The North Korea resolution was adopted by consensus.
Resolutions on Iran, North Korea and Myanmar - and, since last year, Syria - have become an annual ritual. A General Assembly vote on a draft resolution on Myanmar, which was passed by consensus by the U.N.'s Third Committee on human rights last month, has been delayed while budget implications are assessed.
The resolutions deepen international pressure and further isolate Iran, North Korea and Syria but have no legal consequences. All three countries lobby hard against the adoption of the resolutions.
"We wonder if any member of this universal body can claim perfection in human rights situation within its territory and should be beyond the international scrutiny," Iranian U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee told the General Assembly.
"It is a regret that the present system of human rights monitoring opens doors for a selective, arbitrary, partial and unproductive treatment," he said.
The resolution on Iran voiced "deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran relating to, inter alia, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging and amputations." Continued...