GENEVA, June 17 – The Geneva-based non-governmental organization UN Watch called on the U.S., the EU and all other democracies to forcefully object to the UN Human Rights Council’s planned appointment tomorrow of ex-Sandinista Miguel D’Escoto Brockman to its 18-member Advisory Committee.
“His record of virulent anti-American and anti-Western politics, and repeated endorsement of dangerous leaders like Mahmoud Ahmadinjead, makes him a divisive figure who falls afoul of the official criteria of independence and impartiality,” said Hillel Neuer of UN Watch.
When D’Escoto served recently as President of the General Assembly, he designated such senior advisers as anti-American guru Noam Chomsky, Qaddafi ally Ramsey Clark, and Hamas sympathizer Richard Falk (whom the PA asked to quit for being a “partisan of Hamas”). In September 2009, Brockmann designated Cuban dictator Fidel Castro a “World Hero of Solidarity.”
On September 17, 2008, D’Escoto embraced President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after the Iranian leader delivered a strongly anti-Israel and anti-Zionist speech to the UN General Assembly. In response, Professor Gabriela Shalev, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, called D’Escoto an “Israel hater.” Two month later, the Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized D’Escoto after he said that Israel is “crucifying” Palestinians, which the Center said was an anti-Semitic analogy to the crucifixion of Jesus.
According to Alejandro Wolff, the deputy ambassador to Susan Rice, the U.S. representative at the United Nations, Mr. d’Escoto “has repeatedly abused his position to pursue his personal agenda, and in doing so he diminishes the office and harms the General Assembly. He is doing the United Nations a disservice by dividing the membership at a time when he should be a unifying force,” the statement said.
Mr. d’Escoto has singled out the United States for criticizing Iran’s nuclear agenda and for allegedly triggering the global credit crisis with its “moral and ethical failure.”
He says Washington uses its influence to unfairly dictate U.N. priorities, and accused the United States and other industrialized nations of starving the world with their hunger for natural resources such as oil.
According to a Washington Times report, many diplomats say Mr. d’Escoto ran the 192-member world body based on his own passions, convening meetings to denounce Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip and last summer’s coup in Honduras.
As The New Republic reported, d’Escoto sided with Sudan’s president Bashir after he was indicted for genocide:
Take a March showing the Nicaraguan priest and onetime Sandinista put on after returning from a tour through Asia and Europe, during which he had cozied up to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and defended Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir against Darfur-related war crimes charges. Back in New York and pressed by reporters about such controversial stands, he scoffed at Washington’s demonization of Ahmadinejad, given its “canonization of the worst of dictators,” like Marcos and Pinochet. He blamed the United States for undermining the United Nations in the run-up to the Iraq war. He suggested that the Bashir indictment was racist and tied it (and, if his furrowed brow and hand-waving were any indication, the Darfur carnage itself) to the White House. “Who first raised the issue of genocide?” he said. “Bush. George W. Bush. That should tell you quite a bit already.”
The UNHRC’s Advisory Committee is currently headed by former Moroccan diplomat Halima Warzazi, who on September 1, 1988, personally blocked a UN motion to censure Saddam Hussein for gassing the Kurds of Halabja. (See 1988 “No action” motion.) The vice-chair is Jean Ziegler, a former Swiss socialist politician who in 1989 helped create the Moammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize.