Ban Ki-Moon asked why U.N. won’t meet Dalai Lama in Geneva

UN Watch’s revelation yesterday that U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay is effectively refusing to meet with the Dalai Lama on his visit to Geneva next week is now sparking international attention.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was asked about it yesterday by a reporter at his monthly press conference in New York, and he promised that he would “check on the issue”:

Question: Mr. Secretary-General, there’s a report out this morning that your Human Rights chief, Navi Pillay, had refused to receive and meet with the Dalai Lama in Geneva when he goes there this week. Does this, in your mind, send the right message with regards to human rights?

Secretary-General: I will have to check on this issue. I have not read that.

See video webcast, at minute 44:04.

Internet news sites are beginning to cover the story as well. Story by Phayul.com, run by Tibetan exiles:

UN rights chief’s ‘refusal’ to meet Dalai Lama disappoints rights group
Phayul[Thursday, July 30, 2009 15:06]
Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human RightsDharamsala, July 30 – The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch has expressed its disappointment at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay’s silence over whether she will meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visit to Geneva next week.The rights group described Pillay’s silence as a ‘negative answer’. However, it welcomed Pillay’s criticism of China’s “serious systemic violations of human rights” in Tibet, and her call for due process for detainees and access to international observers. “While the High Commissioner for Human Rights is supposed to be independent and to act solely on principles, her refusal to meet with the Dalai Lama – the voice of Tibetan victims and a universal symbol of peace – reflects the sad reality that U.N. institutions and officials operate under the constant influence of power politics, especially when it involves China,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.Louise Arbour, Pillay’s predecessor, admitted to the Washington Post last year that she routinely held back on criticism of China and Russia, because she was “constrained by the reality of the organization’s power centers, including China, Russia and the Group of 77.”

Neuer welcomed Pillay’s latest comments on Tibet, but said they were “too little and too late.”

“She’s still walking on eggshells. We urge the High Commissioner to attribute direct responsibility to Beijing for specific crimes in Tibet, and in general to make regular public statements on China’s gross and systematic abuses affecting a population of more than one billion people, ” Neuer said.

UN Watch said Pillay’s record after one year on the job indicates that, aside from a few cautious statements, she is treading lightly over abuses by some of the most powerful U.N. members, including China and Russia, leaving the United Nations increasingly silent on some of the world’s most pressing human rights issues.

UN Watch obtained a copy of Pillay’s new statement on Tibet she recently gave to a French journalist who submitted his questions in writing since he was unable to pose questions during Pillay’s press briefing at the Durban Review Conference on racism in April.

UN Watch said Pillay’s office often responds immediately to media queries but took more than two months to respond to the French journalist.

She ignored the question as to whether she would ask China for permission to visit Tibet. She also chose not to reply to the question about why the human rights situation in Tibet was ignored at a world conference on discrimination against ethnic minorities, said the UN Watch.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will examine China’s compliance with the UN International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination between 3 – 28 August 2009. The UN Committee will scrutinize China’s 10th, 11th and 13th periodic reports at its 75th session.

http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=25237&t=0

Story by ZeeNews:

UN Watch upset at Pillay’s refusal to meet Dalai Lama

July 30, 2009

New York: Human rights group UN Watch on Wednesday expressed disappointment at the refusal by United Nations rights chief Navi Pillay to answer whether she will receive the Dalai Lama on his visit to Geneva next week — understood as a negative answer.

At the same time, Geneva-based UN Watch welcomed her criticism of China’s “serious systemic violations of human rights” in Tibet, and her call for due process for detainees and access to international observers.

“The High Commissioner for Human Rights is supposed to be independent and to act solely on principles,” UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said in a statement.

“Her refusal to meet with the Dalai Lama – the voice of Tibetan victims and a universal symbol of peace – reflects the sad reality that UN institutions and officials operate under the constant influence of power politics, especially when it involves China,” Neuer said.

Neuer welcomed Pillay’s new comments on Tibet, but said they were “too little and too late”.

“She’s still walking on eggshells. We urge the High Commissioner to attribute direct responsibility to Beijing for specific crimes in Tibet, and in general to make regular public statements on China’s gross and systematic abuses affecting a population of more than one billion people.”

Bureau Report

0 Responses to “Ban Ki-Moon asked why U.N. won’t meet Dalai Lama in Geneva”


  • No Comments

Leave a Reply