This is the sort of attitude that has been sorely lacking at the UN for a long time.
Ms Arbour said she had a mandate to protect and defend human rights, and she would continue to do exactly that.
She said she did not believe she needed to respond to US criticism of her comments.
“I’m the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. This is what I do,” she told the BBC.
Ms Arbour said she was “looking forward” to a meeting with Ms Rice, scheduled for January.
The criticism from the US has of course been due to all the talk of secret CIA prisons… as well as the new revelation recently from Condi Rice that the US is now supporting the complete ban on torture as it’s supposed to under UN treaties.
Others will say:
“Why doesn’t the UN High Commissioner have words like these for the likes of Syria and Zimbabwe and others”
The answer is… she does.
But when the United States start sending people (like Maher Arar) to Syria where they face torture… then the United States lowers itself to the status of these countries and deserves just as much reprimand as the country to which they send the prisoner.