The issue of gay rights was not just front-and-center on a national scale in news and politics this week; it was also a topic of concern for the United Nations General Assembly. Unfortunately, the U.S. didn't exactly blaze the trail for civil rights in that arena either.
World leaders are about to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, but leading human rights organization Amnesty International says they should first apologize for failing to tackle widespread abuses around the world. The group's annual report cites 81 countries for torture or maltreatment and chastises the United States for setting such a poor example.
Kosovo's declaration of independence has prompted both condemnation and cheers from world leaders Whether in the UN Security Council or the European Union, global opinion is divided In particular, the declaration has served as a flashpoint for tension between the United States and Russia, an ugly reenactment of the kind of jockeying for influence that was supposed to have been buried with the Cold War.
After 22 years of debate and opposition (not to mention centuries of exploitation and genocide), the United Nations has finally approved the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a nonbinding treaty meant to promote the human, territory and resource rights of native people around the world. Only four nations voted against the measure: the U.S., Australia, Canada and New Zealand.