Thursday, December 25, 2008

UN Vote on the Right to Food

From the United Nations:
By a vote of 180 in favour to 1 against (United States) and no abstentions, the Committee also approved a resolution on the right to food, by which the Assembly would “consider it intolerable” that more than 6 million children still died every year from hunger-related illness before their fifth birthday, and that the number of undernourished people had grown to about 923 million worldwide, at the same time that the planet could produce enough food to feed 12 billion people, or twice the world’s present population. (See Annex III.)

By the terms of the text, the Assembly would express concern that, in many countries, girls were twice as likely as boys to die from malnutrition and childhood diseases and that twice as many women as men were estimated to suffer from malnutrition. Accordingly, it would have the Assembly encourage all States to take action to address gender inequality and discrimination against women, including through measures to ensure that women had equal access to resources, including income, land and water, so as to enable them to feed themselves and their families. By further terms of the draft, the Assembly would urge Member States to promote and protect the rights of indigenous people, who have expressed in different forums their deep concerns over the obstacles and challenges faced in the full enjoyment of the right to food.

After the vote, the representative of the United States said he was unable to support the text because he believed the attainment of the right to adequate food was a goal that should be realized progressively. In his view, the draft contained inaccurate textual descriptions of underlying rights.

How the countries voted:
In favor: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: United States.

Hold on, all this will change.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hold on, all this will change."

What makes you say that?

Any idea what percentage of the total aid to alleviate hunger worldwide comes from U.S. citizens?

December 26, 2008 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You gotta wonder why our government opposes this.

I have a big problem with the UN though; all sorts of fascist, oppressive governments make all sorts of noises about rights and equal treatment, while savagely oppressing their own people. Sometimes it seems to be a soapbox for hypocrites.

Happy boxing day, Priya.

December 26, 2008 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our government opposes this, Robert, because these types of resolutions are basically used as political weapons against the U.S..

If all governments other than the U.S. want to guarantee their citizens food, they are free to and capable of providing it. The U.S. will generally assist them if they can be guaranteed the food will go to people who need it.

December 26, 2008 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Y'all go see MILK. It's a good film.


December 27, 2008 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-not anon
I'm with you Robert- lots of countries vote for things at the UN while being terribly repressive in their own countries.

December 27, 2008 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and, again, if every country other than the U.S. voted in favor of the right to food, why aren't they granting it to their citizens?

are they just concerned with all the starving Americans? because no one here would oppose them buying food for our citizens

go ahead and do what you vote for, citizens of the world

who's stopping you?

December 27, 2008 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one is surprised the Bush Administration would vote against a UN resolution that people have a right to food. Bush, who behaves as if couldn't care less about poor people, thought Brownie, the horse show coordinator, was doing "a heckuva job" at FEMA during Katrina, remember?

AP has an interesting article posted on AOL this morning. Apparently the rats are talking as the ship of Bush sinks too slowly out of office:

Ex-Aides Say Katrina Was Fatal for Bush
posted: 17 MINUTES AGO comments: 56
filed under: National News, Political News

WASHINGTON (Dec. 30) - Hurricane Katrina not only pulverized the Gulf Coast in 2005, it knocked the bully pulpit out from under President George W. Bush, according to two former advisers who spoke candidly about the political impact of the government's poor handling of the natural disaster.

"Katrina to me was the tipping point," said Matthew Dowd, Bush's pollster and chief strategist for the 2004 presidential campaign. "The president broke his bond with the public. Once that bond was broken, he no longer had the capacity to talk to the American public. State of the Union addresses? It didn't matter. Legislative initiatives? It didn't matter. P.R.? It didn't matter. Travel? It didn't matter."

Dan Bartlett, former White House communications director and later counselor to the president, said: "Politically, it was the final nail in the coffin."

Their comments are a part of an oral history of the Bush White House that Vanity Fair magazine compiled for its February issue, which hits newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on Wednesday, and nationally on Jan. 6. Vanity Fair published comments by current and former government officials, foreign ministers, campaign strategists and numerous others on topics that included Iraq, the anthrax attacks, the economy and immigration.

Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide and later chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, said that as a new president, Bush was like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee whom critics said lacked knowledge about foreign affairs. When Bush first came into office, he was surrounded by experienced advisers like Vice President Dick Cheney and Powell, who Wilkerson said ended up playing damage control for the president.

"It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin-like president — because, let's face it, that's what he was — was going to be protected by this national-security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire," Wilkerson said, adding that he considered Cheney probably the "most astute, bureaucratic entrepreneur" he'd ever met.
"He became vice president well before George Bush picked him," Wilkerson said of Cheney. "And he began to manipulate things from that point on, knowing that he was going to be able to convince this guy to pick him, knowing that he was then going to be able to wade into the vacuums that existed around George Bush — personality vacuum, character vacuum, details vacuum, experience vacuum."

On other topics, David Kuo, who served as deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, disputed the idea that the Bush White House was dominated by religious conservatives and catered to the needs of a religious right voting bloc.

"The reality in the White House is — if you look at the most senior staff — you're seeing people who aren't personally religious and have no particular affection for people who are religious-right leaders," Kuo said.

"In the political affairs shop in particular, you saw a lot of people who just rolled their eyes at ... basically every religious-right leader that was out there, because they just found them annoying and insufferable. These guys were pains in the butt who had to be accommodated."

December 30, 2008 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No one is surprised the Bush Administration would vote against a UN resolution that people have a right to food."

Nor are we surprised that regimes that exist solely to serve the corrupt ruling class would vote to support it.

Having all these nations vote for it, how soon can we expect hunger to disappear from everywhere but the U.S.?

December 30, 2008 7:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home