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And it is my pleasure to welcome you here this evening. Ken Roth who has a wonderful academic background from Brown University and from Yale Law School has been since the early 90s with Human Rights Watch and what is most extraordinary about that organization is how partially under his tutelage partially under the historical moment in which we find ourselves. The very notion of human rights has been expanded from what it was at an earlier point in time to include a whole range of important issues that in previous years we never thought of these human rights. And therefore never really thought of as opening themselves up to abuses and he has with him tonight a massive book on Human Rights Watch 2006 and we are very pleased that he has come to the new school to talk about that issue, to talk about that book. The book will be available at the end of the evening outside the these doors and we welcome you to participate through questions and to stay around and to purchase the book. So without further adieu I give Ken Roth. Well, thank you very much Sandra. As you mentioned I am the occasion of this talk tonight is Human Rights Watch's publication of our annual report and we call our world report. And for the last 17 years we have put out you know a volume like this. And what we do principally, I mean most of the book is about is a survey of country conditions in about 70 countries around the world where we regularly work. And these are accounts provided by the Human Rights Watch researchers who for the most part live in these countries or regularly visit them and who put together a nice summary account of you know, what are the problems that are foremost in this particular country. Now, in addition to that country by country survey, we traditionally opened the report with an overview of some big issue facing the world and this year we were you know, almost compelled to write about what I will call the leadership void on human rights. And what I thought I will do is talk a little bit about that overview and then open it for questions and and in the questions I am really happy to speak about anything in the world because you know its all covered in the book in some place. And if I don't know I will just refer you to a chapter. But by way of introduction let me just say that the Human Rights Movement in order to get things done, first and foremost we are in the naming and shaming business. That is to say our own investigators well, expose human rights abuses, human rights crimes that the others would prefer to keep hidden. And we then find a spotlight on these crimes and in doing so shame governments. We de legitimize them before their people, before their peers, before the world. And no one likes that. And even Saddam Hussein tried to hide his human rights abuses. And so that exposure, that shaming process is very powerful but it's not all that we do. In addition, we routinely will go to influential governments and institutions. This could be, you know, the US government or the European Union, the World Bank, the United Nations, anybody who has clout. And we say you know, we do usual clout to put pressure on this target abusive government to change, to improve their human rights practices. And they in turn if they are cooperative will put diplomatic pressure or economic pressure in extreme cases they will try to get people prosecuted, then they cut-off the flow of arms but they basically will say, you know, what does this target government care about and how can we use that to put pressure on the government to change? Now this is all great in theory. But obviously in order to make that work you need an influential government that has influence. And while there are plenty of powerful governments around what we found this year was there is a real dearth of governments with credible influence. Now why is that? First and foremost we traditionally looked to the U.S. government to help us in this effort. Now I don't want to pretend that the US government has any has ever been anything close to perfect, far from it. You know any body who has you know, any historical memory at all will recall you know, year after year of double standards and preferences given to abusive friends and you know, the selectivity that we have come to know and love this U.S. foreign policy. So that's you know, nothing new. What is new is the Bush Administration's utter disregard for the restraints of human rights when it comes to fighting terrorism. And because of that disregard it's extremely difficult for the United States to promote many human rights around the world. Because you know, it should be no surprise you have to practice what you preach and when you don't nobody listens to you. You don't have any credibility. So you know, what does that mean? Well, certain things in the US - fortunately doesn't do. You know, the US is not in the business of committing genocide, it's not committing crimes against humanity, it's not engaged in massive ethnic cleansing and so when it comes to say, Darfur it can with some credibility push for those atrocities to stop. Similarly, despite the problems of the Bush Administration we still have a vigorous civil society in this country. There is a free press, there are competing political parties, there are many, many non governmental organizations throughout the country. And so US can credibly promote civil society in other countries as well. It can come to the defense of an embattled press, it can help try to free dissidents, it can push for elections, you know, these are all things that are respected for the most part here and so with credibility the US can promote them abroad. Unfortunately, that's not true when it comes to torture or other forms of inhumane treatments so called cruel inhuman objurgating treatment. It's not true when it comes to forced disappearances, you know, picking people up and having them just disappear. It's not true when it comes to the practice of detaining people for long periods without trial as occurs in Guantanamo. And these kinds of abuses, the US can't really do anything credible. I had a recent experience in Egypt, I was first speaking with the US Ambassador and saying you know let's talk honestly, is there any way you can talk to the Mubarak Administration about its systematic use of torture? And the ambassador's had to sort of sheepishly went down well, no. Virtually, the next day I spoke to the Egyptian prime minister and I started complaining about torture, because after all Human Rights Watch isn't the one doing the torturing even though we are based here. And his you know quick reply was, well, what do you mean that's what the Bush Administration does. Now, I mean literally that's what he said. And - now we all know that's a cheap excuse, that it doesn't justify anything. But it does make it easier for governments to deflect criticism, certainly criticism coming from the United States. The US Ambassador wouldn't even try, but even criticism coming from elsewhere because the US is so influential that when it violates human rights standards it not only is a violation but it degrades the standards. It makes it harder for the rest of us to enforce those standards. So, you know, this is a an enormous problem with the US when it gets into the business of promoting human rights. And it's a problem that we find really around the world at this stage, you know, places like Turkey where where, you know, anti-Americanism is just rampant even though this is its still a close US ally, you know, place like Pakistan where the US just has no credibility on the human rights front. So given the fact that our most influential sometime ally on human rights can't effectively promote human rights in many parts of the world with respect to many of the rights that we care about most deeply. What do we do? Well, we started looking around the world and figured, you know, we will find somebody. And so - you know, when you look around and say who is going to focus leadership right you know, I should start by saying there are some eager volunteers, countries like China and Russia. You know? They want to lead but they will lead in the wrong direction. And so China which has this philosophy of dealing with other governments with no strings attached, you know, we will buy your oil, we will buy this or that export crop, we won't ask any questions about your internal affairs. That's the Chinese philosophy. And if these are internal matters human rights is you know, not for polite discourse about what other people do. Maybe just international discourse, but it's not polite to enquire into a government's domestic practices. And China feels this way you know, in parts this is what is ideologies been for a longtime because it doesn't want anybody scrutinizing its own practices and it feels this way also because it didn't have a lot of role in creating those standards in the first place. And so many of them were drafted, China for U.N purposes was Taiwan. And so there is some resentment there that China wasn't, you know, at the drafting table. China also likes to say whether human rights really matter or economic and social rights which you know are certainly important, but it privileges those over civil and political rights. So there is series of problems there and the end result is that China is bolstering governments like Sudan by purchasing its oil without regard to the slaughter taking place in Darfur. Its bolstering Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe by getting him aid without regard to his, you know, utter destruction of his economy and then his attack on his urban populations. It is providing important backing to highly corrupt governments like Angola by undercutting the efforts of the international financial institutions to condition assistance to Angola on a certain transparency in the way it keeps its books. China says, we will give you loans, no questions asked. And so in a series of ways China is there it's a real factor, but it is a highly negative factor when it comes to the rights that are of concerned to us. Russia is no better. Vladimir Putin - he is finally, you know, selling its oaths after, you know, what for him was a somewhat humiliating process of finding the United States and so it eclipsed the remnants of the Soviet Union. He know was sort of having his come back and you probably read about the speech he give in Munich a few weeks ago where he was decrying the emergence of the unilateral world basically saying, you know, world or the U.S dictates everything. And his effort to regain influence is by cosying up to dictators like Islam Karimov the President to Uzbekistan who presided over the slaughter of hundreds of demonstrators by just ordering in troops to machine gun those who were not able to escape. You know, people like that are Putin's best buddies. Again, because this is an effort to kind of recreate some version of the former Soviet Union. So we are you know, not only we have lost the U.S but we have two ascendant powers that are at best neutral at worse overtly hostile to human rights enforcement. So you look around the world and say who else is there. Now there are, you know, a series of democracies in the global south some new, some old. Some of them are quite helpful governments like Mexico, Argentina, Chile are playing a useful role in international institutions supporting human rights. But you know no one pretends they have sufficient power on their own to replace someone like the United States. And for every Argentina or Chile there is a there are in India or South Africa which you know should be promoting human rights, but isn't. Still it is kind of caught in the old view that this is somehow, you know, an imperialist effort and they are going to resist this even though, you know, in cases, say, South Africa it was very much the beneficiary of international solitary to fight the apartheid regime but if not reciprocating by coming to this to joining in solitary with other people who are being repressed today. There are also you know variety of democracies in the global north that are sort of, you know, unaffiliated democracy you might say that that sometimes it played a very important role. You know, for example, Canada and Norway were the key governments in creating a landmines treaty. You know both of them unaffiliated Norway not even a member of the European Union. And there, you know, other governments like the New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland but first of all there are few and far between and second in a number of these cases particularly Canada and Australia today. They are lead by governments of the right that are much more interested in maintaining good relations with the Bush Administration than they are in protesting the kinds of abuses the Bush Administration is has become acquainted with. And so, you know, you Canada most recently chose not to co-sponsor a new effort to create a treaty to prohibit cost ammunitions in a sense a kind of an almost landmines 2 treaty that Human Rights Watch is being pushing forward and we try to get Norway and Canada to co-sponsor the conferences they did last time with landmines. This time Canada said, no, thank you. So we had to go it alone with Norway. And there was just a conference in Oslow Canada belatedly showed up and kind of grudgingly lend its support, but was not a co-sponsor and it is not, you know, priding anywhere near the leadership that it went stayed under a different government. And you know there are similar problems with Australia where the Howard Government is, you know, it is you know, basically allied with the Bush Administration and a lot of its worse practices. So when you run, you know, do a (indiscernible) and see who is out there, a lot of these sort of, you know, candidates for leadership don't look so great when you look too closely. And so what that leaves is the European Union. Now, at first thought you say well, that's not so bad. You know, I mean after all the European Union is - you know, collection of 27 governments that when taken together have, you know, roughly the same populations United States. I think it was slightly more certainly about the same economy. This is a group of governments that are all committed to democracy and human rights. The union itself is gradually acquired members, has required them to first rise up to certain basic human right standards. So, you know, at first blush this doesn't seem like a bad group to fill the leadership (indiscernible) but when you start looking a little bit closer it becomes clear that the European Union is really punching below its weight on human rights. It does a good job in this session process. So for example, you know, when Bulgaria and Romania want to become the 26th and 27th members the EU says, you know, no, no, not too quickly you got to get up to our standards and there is a - you know, its obviously an enormous incentive for them to do it right. But also the decision structure of the EU tends to favor high standards, because Bulgaria, Romania won't get in if anybody objects. And so they have to kind of meet everyone's definition of respect for human rights before they get in. And this requirement for unanimity among the EU when it comes to the accession process when it kind of anybody can say, no it tends to raise the bar and so in that sense the EU is actually been a strong proponent of human rights in its immediate vicinity with respect to the governments that, you know, have just gotten in or hoping soon to get in. And that role, you know, still exists for, you know, Turkey to be stamp the door is still open. Serbia, Croatia, you know, the next round of aspiring candidates. The problem comes so when the EU wants to project its influence elsewhere. If it wants to address China or Darfur, what have you, because in those cases they still have to come up with a common policy and the way they have defined the common policy is unanimity. They call it consensus, but it means unanimity. Every one of those 27 governments has to agree to a common position or there is no common position and that - you know, as I mentioned it is it can be a strong process if the process is just saying, you know, no if anybody can say no and so the session works well. But when it comes to projecting it means that you are being lead by your most reluctant member. It means that whoever has the most columns about projecting influence on a particular human rights issue brings the rest of the EU down with them. It is a policy of the lowest common denominator. And so for example, when it comes to, you know, what you do about Uzbekistan, you know, where this massacre just took place because Germany has this idea that they can somehow engage with (indiscernible) and ease him back into civilization. You know and that - you know, by maintaining a dialogue everything will be all right. And they somewhat naively and basically alone have this view. Even though many others would like to maintain or increase sanctions on Uzbekistan until it allows an independent investigation until it eases up on some of awful repression taking place. None of these others pushing for a strong policy prevail. Germany sets the standard, because it's the lowest common denominator and nobody can do more than what Germany is willing to do. And so its this process of consensus you know, is a process of almost guaranteed weakness, because somebody somewhere is always going to have, you know, special interests. Whether its, you know, France wanting to maintain its close ties to Tunisia or to you know, sell the latest whatever to Sudan or you know Spain and a special relationship with some Latin country. I mean you go on around. There is always somebody who feels that they have the unique inside and how to fix things and are willing to stand in the way of pressure. There is an obvious way around this unanimity requirement. It was a method proposed by the recently defeated the EU constitution. I mean that is to allow the EU common policy to be set by a super majority rather than by consensus. A very sensible method, but that's not the method in place right now. And so we have this this, you know, lowest common denominator approach that currently is a major obstacle in the way of Europe filling this leadership voyage. To make matters worse, let me - let me illustrate how this plays out in one situation of your concern which is this new human rights council. This is this institution within the UN in Geneva that replaced the old discredited Human Rights Commission. And - and its not going well. We can get into that a little bit later. But one of the reasons it's not going well is that the council right now is pretty much split evenly between defenders of human rights and confirmed opponents of human rights, with a group of eight, nine, 10 swing votes in between. And the key - the question is who is going to win those swing votes? To - you know, to persuade the government in the middle of a tough negotiation, you got to be flexible, you got to be quickly, you have got to be you know, be very creative and cover the other - you know, however, you can a majority. The EU can't do that because it has defined this concensus process not at a kind of a broad strategic level which would be to say, you know, you six governments are representing us on the - on the human rights council, you are directed under a common policy to get a critical resolution and Darfur do what it takes. You know that would be a strategic direction. Instead, the EU literally spends it's time editing would be resolutions, word by word, until all 27 of them can agree on the precise wording, you know, commas included. At this - you know surprise surprise takes time. And while they are doing this, everybody else is running off and concluding the deal and often the deal is lost, at least won by the by the - those who were opposed to human rights enforcement. And so, you know, this - even if you would accept the consensus rules, there are smarter ways to do it than the EU has been tending to do it. Now to make matters worse, I think many of you know that the EU has a tradition of being lead with, by what's called the Presidency. Every six months, a different EU Government is in the Presidency for those six months and currently it's Germany. There is nothing wrong with that in principle. It's a way of - you know, highlighting the quality of all EU members. But again, the practice sort of gets in the way, because the EU has decided that for the most part it will only speak through its Presidency. And so that means, you know, who is going to deal with Sudan and Darfur well these six months it can be Germany, next six months it can be Portugal, the six months after that will be France, on and on and on. To defend human rights effectively, you've got to stick with an issue. You know, if you just sort of put out a protest and go home, the governments quickly figure out that they can weather that protest and then proceed as they always did. So the way you get things done is to really be in government's face, just stick with it, you know, day after day, month after month, year after year and ultimately they get the idea that, you know, this difficulty they are encountering, the stigma, this problem in their diplomatic or economic relations isn't going to go away until they change their human rights practices, much higher you may progress. But if the EU, you know, they are putting people up every six months, who've got to spend their first three months figuring out, you know, where is Uzbekistan exactly? You know and then - you know, learning about - you know, what are the politics of this country and what are the potential routs for influencing? You know, this is not simple stuff. When you have this, you know, group of fresh faces showing up every six months, you aren't very effective. Probably a best example of where this goes wrong is with respect to China because the European Union's relations with China are focused around a periodic human rights dialogue. Now the Chinese have figured this out. They will assign a permanent team to this dialogue, and they become quite expert at fending off, you know, whatever criticisms, whatever comments are thrown on their way. And they have been doing this for years and you know they've heard it all. And so they're very successful and just making sure that whatever happens in the dialogue room, basically doesn't effect anybody else, it's a just little exchange that goes away. The European Union on the other hand is constantly outclassed because they have a new group of people every six months leading the dialogue. You know who are just figuring out, you know, about the critical dynamics in China are. Now, there is another way to do it. You don't have to change the whole leadership process in the EU that would be asking too much. You know, the idea of rotation is important to them because it does highlight the equality of the 27. But there is nothing in the EU Constitution or methods of proceeding or what have you that would preclude assigning a group of countries permanently to a particular problem. That is to say rather than have people, you know, finding Darfur every six months. Why not assign a group of countries permanently to the Darfur problem? They can still take their guidance from, you know, the Presidency of that six months. But why not develop some real expertise, you know, some real follow-through or some stickwithedness. Now, in fact the EU has begun to figure out that this might be a good thing to do; they just haven't done it yet in the human rights role. On the question of Iran's nukes there are now is a permanent troika that is assigned on Germany, France and Britain that are - you know, developing expertise. They realize that the uranium problem is not going to go away in six months. So they better sort of learn how to solve it over the long-term. And they recently assigned another troika deal with Somalia which look like it was a you know, chaotic and potentially long-term problem. But they haven't yet done this on human rights. The one thing they do sort of a concession to a bit of continuity is that this concept of the troika they in addition to the presidency they have a not only kind of sort of this six months presidency, but also next six months would join them as well as sort of somebody from the European Commission and this is called the troika. But its still is a troika or sort of the recently arrived rather than a strong troika or a troika of expertise they are not there yet. And so once more, you know, they are their own procedures of rendering them much, much less effective than then should be the case. To make matters worse this whole process of coming up or sort of the lowest common denominator common policy you could sort of you know, I suppose live with this if this was just the base and then you know everybody could do more than that. You know because when it comes to human rights it's understandable that that, you know, you would set a floor no one would do less than this to promote human rights. But you know there shouldn't be anything wrong with governments doing more than that, except that's not the way the EU interprets it. And they routinely treat the common position not as a floor but as a ceiling and you walk in and say, well, that you know the common position maybe only such and such but you know you Germany why don't you do more you are big powerful country. No, no you know that's the common position that's how we are going to do. And you hear this over and over which is you know usually a convenient excuse, because promoting human rights is you know, its difficult it that often gets in the way of other things you want to do cutting commercial deals or what have you and so governments use this common position as an excuse not to stick their neck out and do anything more. Now one thing that that might have subjected these governments to pressure to do more would be to open up their deliberations to public scrutiny. But the EU decision making process is notoriously opaque. It takes place essentially in backrooms in Brussels. I mean you may have heard about the democracy deficit that they talk about in Europe. People have no idea what's going on in the EU. And that's by design, because the governments don't really want public pressure behind them pushing them to do the right thing rather than the convenient thing. And so, you know, again if the EU were sort of figuring out as a structure or procedure that would allow it really to be effective it would open its doors open the windows. You know, let people in. But that's not the way it's done. So what you have is, you know, this collection of procedures that cripple the EU when it comes to promoting human rights around the world. And they don't get away with this session process as I mentioned. But it means that, you know, when it comes to a place like Darfur the EU still hasn't imposed targeted sanctions on any of the senior leaders who are responsible for the killing. And they still are not putting serious pressure on China to interim pressure Khartoum to allow the 20,000 peacekeepers into Darfur what everybody believes to be, you know, an essential first step for stopping the killing. You know when it comes to Russia, Germany is the lowest common denominator pursuing its (Ospolitik) the idea that, you know, in order to have energy security, its got to cozy up to Putin. It views the promotion of human rights as somehow antithetical to the promotion of energy security, even though Putin has been giving us object lessons that's just the opposite is true that when you have an utterly unaccountable government, one who is destroyed a whole range of democratic institutions, shutdown the independent press, reigned in the Duma, you know, appointed all the provincial governors, prosecuted the business leaders, you know, regulated to death the NGOs but that kind of unaccountable government is not a terribly reliable partner for anything. Business, security, you name it. But somehow this hasn't registered even though recently, you know, Putin demonstrated what an accountable government does and that is to shut off the oil and the gas to the Belarus, to Ukraine and with consequences throughout the rest of Europe when something happen that it didn't like. A government that was reigned in by the rule of law and by democratic institutions would be less likely to act in that kind of arbitratory way which is an argument for why promoting human right should be understood, it is good for energy security. But you know, Germany is the lowest common denominator and on this one hasn't changed yet, even though America was I think, you know, a bit more inclined in a more pro humanized direction, she is still has constrained by her coallition government. I mentioned in China, you know, that this dialogue has become a joke and of course everybody wants to maintain their contracts with China. So again there are really - virtually no human right policy of significance toward that you know major player. And you know finally, with respect the United States, a Government where - you know, European Union is beginning to talk about candidly. You know, now there has been a formal denunciation of Guantanamo. There is beginning to be exploration of the role the European Governments played in so called rendition to countries that torture. But still there has been no real disclosure of the secrecy IA detention facility that was, that appear is maintained in Poland, the more temporary one that was maintained in Romania. And there still is you know huge resistance to even in Italy revealing, you know, it was its intelligence agency knowingly complicit in the kidnapping of Abu Omar and he's been sent to Egypt to be tortured. You know, I can go on and no, and there is, you know, sort of theoretical interest in addressing US human rights abuses but nothing like the sustained attention that could help all of us as we try to on redeem the reputation of the United States and its respect for human rights. So, you know, to sum up, it's not a pretty picture. We have a US Government that has lost credibility. I don't think irredeemably I do think that, you know, with a new administration, with a more courageous Congress, we could see some serious repudiation of some of the Bush Administration's worse practices, but we are a long way away from that stop. Elsewhere around the world you have China and Russia fighting against us, Governments like India and South Africa seconding them and a handful of progressive Governments trying to do what they can, but the most important potential ally, the European Union, the most likely candidate to fill the leadership void being stymied by its inward orientation its desperate effort to figure out, you know, how to somehow reconcile its individual member's interest in maintaining their sovereignty with the collective action that's needed to maximize their potential influence. So let me stop there and I would welcome your questions on what I've talked about or frankly anything else of interests since it's probably on the book. Thank you. Thank you very much - yes.