Syria joins UNESCO human rights committee

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

While the international community deals with the human rights atrocities currently taking place in Syria, it seems a UN agency has welcomed the embattled Arab country to its human rights committee.

The Weekly Standard, a neo-conservative magazine in the United States, posted this translation of an article in the the Israeli newspaper Maariv noting Syria is now a member of the UNESCO committee on human rights:

"A short time after UNESCO, the UN's organization for education and science, accepted the Palestinian Authority as a full member despite strong U.S. and Israeli opposition, it is now Syria's turn to receive a present from the organization.

On Wednesday, the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad was chosen to be the Arab representative on the UNESCO committee (that) deals with issues relating to the implementation of human rights."

In light of current events, UNESCO's decision is definitely a head-scratcher.

Syria's Assad government has imposed a brutal crackdown against a growing number of citizens calling for greater political rights and freedoms.  The United Nations estimates 3,500 protesters have been killed since demonstrations began in the spring, reports the Washington Post.

The international community, including Canada, seems poised to take military action against Syria.

On Sunday, defence minister Peter MacKay told CTV News that if economic sanctions against Syria don't work in curbing the violence and human rights violations, Canada's armed forces are ready to offer assistance.