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During a press conference at the beginning of this month, the President of the Coordinating Committee for the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna said that there should be some focus on revealing the double standards practiced by the superpowers in the world, and that human rights organizations worldwide must firmly and jointly stand together to end this duplicity and identify those who practice it.


Actually, this can be considered a warning directed at the human race due to the impending dangers surrounding it if these double standards continue to take place in the decision-making of superpowers, which influence the issuing of Security Council resolutions and the process of the adoption and enforcement of such resolutions.


The public is not naïve and realizes fully the devious procedures through which the superpowers try to cover up this duplicity. People in general, and those in the third world in particular, who have placed their trust in the United Nations as the basis of the new world order are tormented by a feeling of betrayal as they witness the cruelty and bloodshed happening in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the Occupied Territories in Palestine. Meanwhile, the Security Council resolutions are either gravely eroded or subjected to a terminal lack of the necessary equal application and implementation.


People in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the Occupied Territories appeal over and over again for the protection of their rights, and demand over and over again an equally serious response to their tragedies from the permanent members of the Security Council, a response granted to others during the Gulf crisis and the “Lockerbie” case.


The double standards with which the United Nations acts by responding unequally to different cases of human rights violations such as those mentioned above, and the double standards adopted by the permanent members of the Security Council, are matters of grave concern and are clearly evidenced in some of the cruel sanctions which have been applied in some cases but not others. Some of these strict sanctions reached extensive proportions, causing innocent people to starve and children to die slowly as the infrastructure of their countries disintegrate and communications with the outside world are cut off completely.


Why, people ask, isn’t there an equal response from the permanent members of the Security Council in applying strict sanctions, such as the ones applied during the Gulf crisis and the “Lockerbie” case, regarding similar tragedies of human rights violations as the ones in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the Occupied Territories in Palestine?


Tragedies and wars are not coincidences. We create them and provide the atmosphere that causes such tragedies and wars to spread like cancer through the human race. International terrorism, which has started to emerge in several regions and corners of the world, is the direct result of the general dismay people are experiencing in reaction to the double-standards currently practiced, and which, without a doubt, are only a beginning to what may soon follow.


We must be very aware of the general wisdom which says that “Children will reap tomorrow what their parents sow today.”


EAFORD and other NGOs with Consultative Status at the United Nations take this opportunity to state once again that many people are increasingly concerned about the credibility of the United Nations and the upholding and enforcement of the principles enshrined in its Charter. We hope and emphasize that the new world order must be based on absolute respect for those principles and their nondiscriminatory application by the various organs and members of the United Nations.



June 1993