- Dr. Amini Amir Abdullah
- Fakulti Ekologi Manusia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
- Seorang penjawat awam, telah berumahtangga dan beristeri. Menyukai respons orang ramai terhadap hasil penulisan dan berkongsi ilmu, pengetahuan dan pengalaman. Bercita-cita besar dan mempunyai tujuan hidup yang futuristik. Ingin melihat Malaysia menjadi negara maju sebelum tahun 2020 dan rakyat Malaysia tersohor di persada antarabangsa. Ingin melihat agama Islam dan umat Islam melonjak naik.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
The implementation of human rights by the United Nations (UN) and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) are Contradicted To National Interest
If the objective of the UPR is to review and promote follow-up to all UN member State’s obligations and commitments concerning the respect, promotion and effective fulfillment of all Human Rights on the ground, what would you do if the above run contrary to your country national interest, obligations and commitment?
DR. AMINI AMIR BIN ABDULLAH
UNIVERSITI PUTRA MALAYSIA
5th January 2014
The implementation of human rights by the United Nations (UN) and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has given the foundation to a confrontational approach and ignore the traditional model of cooperation between countries that promote harmony. Actually, UPR dimensions using confrontational method within its process should be interpreted as a source of bonding under one set of international laws in which all countries in the world have to stick to it. When Malaysia is imposed to accept UPR contrary to the interests of Malaysian people where the interests of the country are more important, the UPR must be rejected. The mechanism of coercion in the form of the UPR should not be realized because it is a form of confrontational approach. It also may be characterized as a violation of the rights of Malaysia as an independent and sovereign country.
The US engages actively with the UPR. It depends on the human rights information available to form the basis for a more comprehensive research and action. This is the first time ever the mechanism in the legislation of human rights regulation involves universal participation and involvement of the ministers. Human rights records of every country are examined. UPR has also created a body of information on human rights for every country. This is unprecedented in history. So, this is a chance for us to protest if it is contrary to national aspirations and national interests. We need to give thoughtful arguments and rejected the argument of COMANGO and the others in an intellectual manner.
UPR appears linked to the political interests of US and we have to acknowledge the fact that human rights monitoring mechanism nowadays led by the US and non-expert bodies. Expert bodies should be leading the way. The Malaysian government should be lobbied to join the expert bodies that have a common interest in the event to protest against any elements that contrary to the national interest. We also need to get the support from countries that have a common interest like Malaysia especially the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC).
The value of the process can be measured by the creation of a strong data set on human rights information in every country. The US involvement in each process can be assumed as supporting and strengthening secular and liberal human rights standards as well as the interpretation. This is very dangerous for Muslim populations. Solid supports from Islamic countries and the others are needed to achieve our struggle. Otherwise we will lose.
The commitment of UPR can also be interpreted as a form of additional law to the countries in the world. UPR itself is actually seen as something that is still not strong and loose. This means that it still contains drawbacks. New UPR mechanism led by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) have to be opposed by human rights organisations and academics. We will do the lobbying efforts on the academics to support our efforts to protest the implementation of the UPR. Similarly, we also will woo the support of the Islamic countries leaders and the symphatizers.
We should use every available alternatives and energy to resist UPR wisely if it is contrary to the national interest. We should protest by using proper channels in order to gain success. We also need a stronger protest if it is contrary to the interests of religion. Objections can be routed through proper and effective channels. I will form a joint group among the countries that are aligned with me to fight this issue. The first UPR session was held in February 2009 and the second session on 24 October 2013. Final adoption report for Malaysia in the second round of the UPR 2013 session will only be done during the 25th session of the Human Rights Council (OHRC) and to be held in March 2014. I believe it is not too late for us to fight for our own rights and future.
Another effective method of protest or objection is during the review process. We respect the wishes of the UPR for effective implementation of human rights. However, the UPR should listen to other countries before making its decision. We need a strong voice to protest during the review process. Of course we will not go against things that contain common good. In fact, UPR should consider the implementation of human rights without prejudice to the national interests of any country. We cannot tolerate any attempt of human rights which affects the interests of our country and what is more important we cannot sacrifice our main principles. The international community must be informed and be consulted extensively by UPR on this particular subject.
It should be noted, when the UPR has been regulated and becoming a set of standardized international law, the objection will no longer be meaningful. So during the process of drafting the UPR, we must voice our protest if it is contrary to the national interest. The politicization of human rights in the inter-governmental level, especially related to domestic issues has become a threat to UPR human rights review. The protest by certain countries on human rights contributed to the ineffectiveness of the UN and the UN are only concerned on certain groups which have common interests.
A significant criticism is that there is no cooperation mechanism among all human rights monitoring body and UPR clearly overlooked on this important matter. Malaysia should take follow-up action and response to the UPR recommendations that affect the interests of Malaysia. Any interference of Malaysian affairs and contrary to our constitution should be rejected. As the representative of Malaysia, I will make this struggle as my main agenda for the sake of my country. UPR actually does not play an important role in the formation, definition, clarification and strengthening of human rights. Actually it is trying to impose its rules by not taking into account the sensitivity, cultural and other societal norm.
More time and research are needed in order to analyze the content of the UPR and are we going to let US and its allies bind us with a law that is contrary to our aspirations. Do we want to allow western hegemony on the grounds that universal human rights should dominate us and they should decide on us? The potential for UPR to act by force is clear. Does they want to teach us about human rights? Do we have to abide by the US definition of human rights and whether the world will adhere to another western hegemony and western domination?
Much debate has taken place on the universality and the normative content of human rights. Much effort has been carried out to enforce human rights. Pressure mechanism is the method most frequently used by international bodies responsible for monitoring human rights. Confrontational approach was also used to ensure the successful implementation of human rights. Why UPR did not set up a more moderate approach or a collaborative approach between countries rather than forcing other countries to follow its political interests?
If it is against the national interest of Malaysia, of course we should resist any pressure on our country. Resistance to any effort that is adverse to Malaysia must be done diplomatically and wisely. We should avoid becoming involved in the conflict arena that could affect the nation. United Nations cannot impose its definition of human rights to any country unless the country itself accepted it. No definition of human rights globally accepted as the general interpretation of human rights is not the same from one religion to another religion, as well as between one country to another, from one geographical boundaries to other geographical boundaries. I will support countries that object to this proposal, particularly among OIC member countries. I will lobby extensively to protest the imposition of the UPR to any country because coercion element should not happen since it violates the sovereignty of any country in the world.
Last but not least, I will pray to Allah for our success in this world and the Hereafter. Allah SWT. says: “Call upon Me, I will answer your prayer”. The prerequisites of the success of prayer are hard efforts and tawakkal.