Celtic League concerns about the record of the Commonwealth to tackle the appalling human rights record of some member States has been reiterated by a prominent United Kingdom Conservative and former government Minister.
It is almost four years now since the Celtic League published a comprehensive critique of human rights in Commonwealth States (see links).
This week’s conference in Perth of Commonwealth Heads of Government provided an opportunity for the Commonwealth to confound its critics (such as Celtic League) however it funked the issue.
The organisation roundly refused to publish an `Eminent Persons Report’ (EPG) on human rights shortcomings in the 54 member States.
The EPG had recommended a course of action to deal with the problems via the creation of a new commissioner on the rule of law, democracy and human rights.
However the proposal was rejected prompting the outburst from Sir Malcolm Rifkind a British member of the group who said:
“The Commonwealth faces a very significant problem. It’s not a problem of hostility or antagonism, it’s more of a problem of indifference. Its purpose is being questioned, its relevance is being questioned and part of that is because its commitment to enforce the values for which it stands is becoming ambiguous in the eyes of many member states.”
He also branded the move a disgrace and suggested that the Commonwealth was increasingly a “private club of the governments or the secretariat”.
After the Perth debacle Commonwealth functions attended, often at great expense, by Government Ministers from the UK and Isle of Man will be seen as pointless junkets in many instances hosted by human rights bigots.
(This release compiled by the Director of Information, Bernard Moffatt).
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Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League:
Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
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ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.