Qaddafi’s man at the U.N., Mary Robinson’s legacy-hire, reelected as VP

Jean Ziegler, Qadaffi’s man at the U.N. Human Rights Council — and a legacy hire of Mary Robinson — was reelected this week as Vice-Chair of its Advisory Committee. Ziegler is a former Socialist politician in Switzerland, the author of numerous books accusing America, capitalism, and the West of being responsible for the world’s ills, and a long-time supporter of dictators such as Fidel Castro, Robert Mugabe, and Moammar Qaddafi.

In my 2008 Azure essay, Ziegler’s Follies, I argued that the man is an impostor who embodies the debased culture of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Among other things, the article documented how in 1989 Ziegler co-founded the “Moammar Qadaffi Human Rights Prize” with $10 million from the Libyan regime. Award recipients have included Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. In 2002, while Ziegler continued to serve as vice-president of “North-South 21,” a Libyan front group based in Geneva that manages the prize, the award was given to convicted French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy — and to Ziegler himself.

Interestingly, it was then High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson who, in the year 2000, proposed him for his initial U.N. job as the Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the right to food. (See Sept. 2000 article below by Swiss news agency ATS.) Ziegler used this position for seven years to attack his favorite targets while utterly neglecting starving people around the world.

If Ziegler gets out of line as VP of the Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee, we can at least take comfort knowing he will be called to order by the lady they chose as Chair: Halima Embek Warzazi. She’s best known for being an apologist at the Council for Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds.

Here’s what I wrote about her for a 2005 article in The New Republic Online:

This past August, at the opening address of the subcommission [as the Advisory Committee was then known], Warzazi’s remarks singled out two countries only. First she blasted America (for, among other things, its treatment of Al Qaeda terrorists and violating “the right to life”) and then ended by asking audience members to reflect on how Israel might remind them of Nazi Germany. Warzazi mentioned no other country. Perhaps she’s just an overzealous activist for Middle East victims? If so, this concern was not apparent on September 1, 1988, when a measure was introduced at the subcommission to censure Saddam for gassing the Kurds of Halabja. Warzazi jumped in and sprung a “no action” motion, successfully killing the resolution. (Her move was supported, it so happens, by the same Cuban, Alfonso Martinez, who now sits with her in adjudicating human rights allegations.) Nor were humanitarian motives much in evidence in the remainder of Warzazi’s lengthy statements during this past year’s subcommission, where she failed to utter a single word for the victims of Darfur. “Everyone is talking about Sudan,” she told me.

Martinez continues to sit today on the Advisory Committee. Ziegler, Warzazi, and Martinez: this is the all-star line-up that guides what is called the world’s foremost human rights body.


When Mary Robinson named Qaddafi’s man at the U.N.

Lutte contre la faim dans le monde Jean Ziegler nommé rapporteur spécial de l’ONU,” Sept. 3, 2000, Agence Télégraphique Suisse (ATS / SDA).

Genève — La Commission des droits de l’homme de l’ONU a nommé Jean Ziegler au poste de rapporteur spécial pour le droit à la nourriture. Le sociologue genevois a confirmé dimanche la nouvelle parue dans le quotidien “Le Matin” et le “SonntagsBlick”.

Les Nations-Unies souhaitent inscrire le droit à la nourriture dans la Déclaration des droits de l’homme. L’ancien conseiller national est chargé de préparer cette norme. Il entre en fonction immédiatemment, et a trois ans pour parvenir à synthétiser les points de vue des Etats membres sur ce nouveau droit.

Joint par téléphone, M. Ziegler a expliqué avoir été approché par Mary Robinson, Haut-commissaire aux droits de l’homme de l’ONU. Le droit à la nourriture a été proposé à l’instigation de Cuba et de la majorité des pays du tiers-monde. L’objectif est de “retirer au marché la fixation des prix agricoles”, précise-t-il. La démarche rencontre des résistances, notamment de la part des Etats-Unis.

Le sociologue estime que sa nomination est due à “la conjonction entre la volonté de la Suisse de le voir épouser cette charge et son engagement en faveur du tiers-monde”. Il s’est déclaré “impressionné” par le soutien personnel que lui ont apporté les conseillers fédéraux Adolph Ogi et Joseph Deiss.

M. Ziegler a été soutenu, lors du vote, par les blocs africains et sud-américains ainsi que par la France. Il a récemment publié le livre “La faim dans le monde expliquée à mon fils”. Il y explique que près de 100 000 personnes meurent de faim chaque jour dans le monde, et que près de 900 millions souffrent de malnutrition.

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