Libya Wins Seat on UN Rights Council; UN Watch Reaction Quoted in Media Worldwide

Despite the determined efforts of UN Watch and its supporters, Libya won a seat on the UN Human Rights Council today in uncontested elections held at the General Assembly in New York, as did other rights abusing countries including Angola, Malaysia, and Qatar. UN Watch headed a global coalition of 37 human rights groups that fought to defeat the Qaddafi regime’s candidacy, with appeals urging the US and the EU to lead an opposition campaign.

In the end, not a single country was willing to speak out against the oil-rich dictatorship. Libya’s 155 votes were far more than the required 97, but also the least received of today’s 14 candidates, all of whom ran unopposed for the 14 available seats. Sadly, today’s election of a brutal regime and long-time sponsor of terrorism will only perpetuate the Human Rights Council’s sorry record of granting impunity to perpetrators, neglecting victims, and targeting Israel with an endless amount of one-sided resolutions and emergency sessions.

If any good could possibly come out of today’s results, perhaps the mere fact of Qaddafi’s presence on the council will expose the already existing hypocrisy and injustice which too often gets covered up by those who — out of career interests or political agenda — portray this kangaroo court as a serious body.

  • To read UN Watch’s appeal on behalf of 37 human rights groups, click here.
  • For more UN Watch analysis and comment on today’s vote, click here.
  • For UN Watch’s reaction to Libya’s election, see our quotes below in Associated Press, Agence France Presse, Deutsche Presse Agentur, Radio Free Europe, FOX News, Swissinfo, Tribune de Geneve, Tages Anzeiger, and more.
  • Click here for video of tonight’s Swiss TV interview (en francais)
    of UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer. 

   May 13, 2010

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Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch, which heads a coalition of 37 human rights organizations that campaigned for the U.S. and European Union to defeat Libya’s candidacy, said that “by electing serial human rights violators, the U.N. violates its own criteria as well as common sense. Choosing Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to judge others on human rights is a joke,” Neuer said in a statement. “He’ll use the position not to promote human rights but to shield his record of abuse, and those of his allies…”

 

May 13, 2010

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We don’t measure the success of the council solely in terms of who is on the body,” US Ambassador Susan Rice said. “The most important metric is what the council does and what action it takes or doesn’t take.” A coalition of 30 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) based in Geneva had called on the US and the European Union to block Libya, which received 155 votes. Those NGOs criticized other countries including Thailand and Malaysia for failing to respect human rights, but Thailand received 182 votes and Malaysia 179 votes.  “To see Libyan dictator Col Moammar Qaddafi judge others on human rights will turn the UN council into a joke,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch in Geneva…”
                                             May 13, 2010

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Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, calls the election process a “farce,” adding that this year’s elections are “without competition. That makes no sense. We have countries like Libya that are running for a seat and have atrocious human rights records.”
UN Watch heads a coalition of 37 human rights organizations from around the world that campaigned for the United States and the European Union to defeat Libya’s candidacy due to the country’s human rights record.
In a letter to the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, and Spain’s ambassador, Juan Antonio Yanez-Barnuevo — whose country currently holds the rotating EU Presidency — the coalition described Libya as “one of the world’s most repressive societies,” where political parties, free speech, and open media are banned.  “We were promised competitive elections at the Human Rights Council as part of the 2006 reform that would bring the best candidate forward,” the UN Watch head says. “This was supposed to be a council for the victims, it was supposed to be a voice for the victims, and today we’re seeing tragically a council for the perpetrators of human rights violations…”
                                             May 10, 2010

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The UN General Assembly is set this week to again populate its hideously misnamed Human Rights Council with representatives of hideously inappropriate countries. Someone must object. How about the U.S.?  The world body will vote Thursday to fill 14 council seats. The occupants are already known because there are only 14 candidates, among them such thugocracies, tyrannies and repressors as Libya, Angola, Qatar, Mauritania and Malaysia. Monitors at Freedom House and UN Watch rightly find those nations unqualified based on their records of abusing their populations. Four others – Uganda, Thailand, Ecuador and Moldova – are deemed to be of questionable character. To study the records of the council’s membership is to understand why the group ignores human rights horrors like genocide and slavery, toys with measures that would limit freedom of speech and directs attack after attack against Israel. Libya, of course, is the stronghold of dictator Moammar Khadafy, who sprang the mastermind of the Pan Am 103 bombing from a Scottish jail.. and flew him home to a hero’s welcome. It’s also a place where free expression can get you killed…”
                                                   

                                    May 12, 2010

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Die –Nichtregierungsorganisationen UN-Watch und Freedom House, die sich als «Wachhunde» über eine freie Welt verstehen, forderten kürzlich die Vereinten Nationen dringend auf, Libyen, Angola, Malaysia, Mauretanien und Qatar nicht in den Menschenrechtsrat zu wählen…”
                                             May 10, 2010

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Hilel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch, went one step further. He has urged delegates “not to write in the name of Libya or other unqualified candidates when filling out the four African slots on their secret ballot”. “They should instead write in the names of African countries with far greater qualifications,” he said.

 

                                             May 13, 2010

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But according to a press release from UN Watch, a Geneva based non-governmental organization, “The council gives dominance to Africa and Asia, whose 26 seats grant them an automatic majority. Western Europe and North America together are represented by seven countries. The UN Watch press release says “to date, the council has adopted 40 censure resolutions, of which 33 have targeted Israel… Out of nine emergency sessions that criticized countries, six were against Israel…”
                               

               May 10, 2010

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Une coalition d’une trentaine d’Organisations non-gouvernementales ont demandé lundi aux Etats-Unis et à l’Union européenne de s’opposer à l’élection de la Libye au Conseil des droits de l’homme de l’ONU.  “Voir le dictateur libyen, le colonel Mouammar Kadhafi, juger les autres sur les droits de l’Homme ferait du Conseil (des droits de l’Homme) une blague”, a estimé M. Hillel Neuer, directeur exécutif de l’ONG Un Watch, basée à Genève. Dans leur appel à l’UE et aux Etats-Unis, les ONG signataires constatent que “la Libye a la possibilité d’avoir une forte influence grâce à ses grandes réserves de pétrole”. “Néanmoins, nous sommes confiants que les pays influents que vous représentez peuvent et vont mener avec succès une campagne pour convaincre un minimum de 96 membres de l’ONU de s’opposer à ce qu’un régime (libyen) meurtrier, répressif et raciste gagne un siège au Conseil des droits de l’Homme”, ajoutent les ONG…

 

                               

 

“Protestan contra candidatura de Libia al Consejo de DDHH de la ONU,” May 5, 2010.

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Precisamente la candidatura de Libia transmite “el terrible mensaje” de que un país que sistemáticamente desprecia los derechos humanos puede ser miembro del Consejo de Derechos Humanos, declararon en una toma de posición las organizaciones no gubernamentales (ONG) UN Watch y Freedom House….”
                                “Des ONG demandent de ne pas élire la Libye au Conseil,” May 5, 2010.

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La candidature de la Libye “envoie un terrible message au monde qu’un pays qui viole de manière flagrante les droits de l’homme n’est pas contesté” pour faire partie des 47 membres du Conseil des droits de l’homme, écrivent UN Watch et Freedom House…’”

 

May 13, 2010
Corrispondenza di Stefano Vaccara dal Palazzo di Vetro dell’Onu
Click here for Italian-language audio report on UN Watch’s campaign

1 Response to “Libya Wins Seat on UN Rights Council; UN Watch Reaction Quoted in Media Worldwide”


  • I wonder what will next happen in Libya and Egypt. On the one hand you can enjoy that people overthrew the dictators, but the other nobody knows what will happen in the future. I’m afraid that people affiliated with terrorists may come to power . I hope not. What do you think?

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