Irony and Hypocrisy Regarding Human Rights
Usha Ramanathan
THE FUTURE OF THE UN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW AFTER THE IRAQ WAR by Bernhard Vogel Social Science Press, New Delhi, 2006, 200 pp., 595
June 2006, volume 30, No 6

Caution and hypocrisy, cast off in pursuit of a war in Iraq, has claimed several casualties. Amidst the debris left by the continuing war is the relevance of the UN system in matters of war and peace. It may require a superlative effort, some suspension of disbelief and collective amnesia, to help the UN recover from the drubbing it received when the United States and the United Kingdom invaded Iraq. Yet, because there are so few pegs to hang hope on, there is a need to find in the UN an arena where prejudice, pragmatism and power can, even if only apparently, be debated and dealt with without being pre-empted by warheads, missiles and worse. This is reflected in the contributions to this edited volume which is the product of a conference sponsored by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The conference and this publication were to commemorate the Petersburg Agreement concluded on 22 November 1949 between the Allied Powers and the Federal Republic of Germany which marked the beginning of what the Preface says was “the first essential, if not decisive, step towards Western orientation and the recovery of sovereignty for the Federal Republic of Germany” (p.7).

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