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The piece critically looks at the transition from the UN Commission on Human Rights to the UN Human Rights Council in 2006 and questions whether the change is one of substance or form. It argues that the same paralysis that dogged the Commission will continue to afflict the Council because power politics and regional blocs - fueled by the global asymmetries of power - will not go away. The piece also contends that the charge by the West that the Commission was utterly compromised by the Third World was without merit because it was the one forum where developing could reprimand the West. The truth is that both the West and the global South used it for political purposes - the West to advance its foreign policy objectives, the South to blunt the criticism of the West and cover up its own shortcomings. The piece concludes with a call for reforming the Human Rights Council to make it truly effective and non-partisan.

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Proceedings of the ASIL Annual Meeting

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