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U.N. program should not honor thug

June 23, 2010
The Daily Mining Gazette

The United Nations has a long, rather disgraceful tradition of kowtowing to brutal dictators rather than working to protect their people from them.So it is no surprise that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - UNESCO - is continuing the practice.

UNESCO, which has some valuable programs, plans to award a $300,000 prize for scientific achievements that improve the quality of human life. The award will be named for Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the dictator of Equitorial Guinea. He suggested the prize and is providing the money for it.

That nation has one of the worst human rights records in the world, according to the U.N. itself.

A special U.N. official investigating torture warned last year that, "Equitorial Guinea's human rights record, which includes abuse of press freedom, economic and social rights, is across the board a truly awful record that UNESCO should distance itself from. Associating the UNESCO name with President Obiang is a very grave mistake."

Yet UNESCO officials are proceeding with the plan. Critics of the U.N. have argued that it has become "irrelevant." That is being charitable.

In truth, the agency established to help safeguard human rights has become a defender of the very worst abusers on the planet.



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