by the stormy present
Thu Feb 8th, 2007 at 04:22:15 AM EST
Found this on Al Jazeera English...
Fifty-seven countries signed a treaty on Tuesday banning forced disappearances but the US, Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy were notably absent among the signatories.
I know. I know. I know. This is no surprise to anyone, and we know why they didn't sign. These are our governments (well, some of ours) and they have no interest in this treaty because they engage in practices that blatently violate it, practices they do not plan to stop.
This story is no surprise to anyone. It did not appear in most papers or on most TV stations. A Google News search yields less than 75 results, most of them versions of the same AP story.
This story is no surprise to anyone, but I couldn't let it pass without comment. Shame, shame, shame on my government, and shame on all governments who fail to sign this treaty. Shame.
(Now updated with a full list of countries that signed....)
Some of those AP stories, interestingly, emphasize that the US wouldn't sign and then casually mention the other non-signatories later, while different versions list all the non-signatories up front. FWIW.
A few more details from AP:
"Our American friends were naturally invited to this ceremony; unfortunately, they weren't able to join us," French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told reporters after 57 nations signed the treaty at his ministry in Paris.
"That won't prevent them from one day signing on in New York at U.N. headquarters -- and I hope they will," he said.
Some day my prince will come...
Oh, sorry. Where was I?
In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack declined comment except to say that the United States helped draft the treaty, but that the final text "did not meet our expectations."
"Our expectations." Which would be... what? "We wanted a ban on disappearances that didn't apply to us"?
I'm so sorry that the UN has once again disappointed you, Sean. It seems that they're a little less than interested in meeting the Bush Administration's expectations anymore. Gosh, I wonder why.
McCormack declined comment on whether the U.S. stance was influenced by the administration's policy of sending terrorism suspects to CIA-run prisons overseas, which Bush acknowledged in September.
Um, ya think?
But what about everyone else?
Many delegates expressed hope that other nations would sign on by year-end. Some European nations have expressed support for the treaty but face constitutional hurdles or require a full Cabinet debate before signing, French and U.N. officials said.
Oh. So maybe it's just a coincidence that the list of non-signatories included quite a few nations involved in renditions....
We need to stay on this.
UPDATE TWO, 9 FEB 2007
We have a list!!!
I've just located this list provided by the human rights network FIDH, naming the countries that signed. And they are...
Also FYI, here are two more organizations that track forced disappearances and advocate on behalf of victims and their families:
Proyecto Desaparecido and their blog
International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP)