Group: Most countries obstruct UN rights review

Most countries use the UN's human rights meetings to praise their allies and criticize their enemies instead of highlighting genuine cases of abuse, a lobbying group said Thursday. The Geneva-based UN Watch said only 9 of the 55 countries it examined took a constructive approach to scrutinizing each other's human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council. The group, which is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee and has long been critical of the UN, gave positive reviews to Canada, France and Britain. The United States was listed as constructive, too, despite disengaging from the council last year. Brazil, Italy and Australia were among a dozen countries considered weak. UN Watch rated the performance of 32 other countries - including Russia, Iran, China and Cuba - as detrimental to destructive. Two countries - Burkina Faso and Gabon - did not rate at all because they never took the floor during the council's thrice-yearly flagship meetings, meant to regularly scrutinize each UN member state's record.