Chavez running for seat on top UN rights body

Rights groups to oppose bids by Pakistan and Venezuela for UN Human Rights Council

GENEVA, Feb. 22 – The governments of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Pakistan are slated to run unopposed for seats on the UN’s 47-nation Human Rights Council this year, reported the independent monitoring group UN Watch, citing sources close to the UN.

“It’s an outrage,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, who announced the formation of an international coalition of parliamentarians and human rights groups to block both candidacies, “due to their poor records on human rights protection at home and on human rights promotion at the UN.”

Last year, UN Watch exposed Syria’s candidacy to the council, and initiated a diplomatic campaign that pressured Damascus to drop its bid at the last minute. The non-governmental watchdog also led a successful campaign of 70 groups to remove Libya’s Qaddafi regime from the council.

Neuer said that Venezuela and Pakistan were among the few states condemned for gross human rights violations at a recent summit of human rights dissidents, organized by UN Watch and 25 other human rights groups. The resolutions adopted on both countries are being circulated to UN diplomats in hopes they will be addressed at the council’s opening 2012 session next week.

Click here for resolution condemning Pakistani abuses
Click here for resolution Venezuelan abuses

“These are hypocritical candidacies. Chavez throws judges and critics in jail, bullies young student activists and uses his UN vote to shield the atrocities of others. Venezuela just voted against UN action on the horrific massacres perpetrated by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,” said Neuer.

“Pakistan persecutes religious minorities, including Sufis, Shiites, Ahmadis and Christians. Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, is on death row in Pakistan under Pakistan’s medieval blasphemy law. Pakistan’s judicial system punishes women who are victimized by rape instead of the rapists. That Pakistan might judge others on human rights is appalling.”

Regional groups frequently agree on closed slates of candidates, nominating the same number of countries as seats available. “The lack of competition robs the election process of any meaning,” said Neuer, “and helps explain how China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia won their current seats.”

The election of new candidates could take place in May, as in previous years. According to information from sources close to the UN, obtained exclusively by UN Watch, the Latin American group is planning to name Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil to fill its allotted three seats.

For its five seats, Asia is planning to name Pakistan, South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and the UAE.

“We are urging the Latin American group to choose another candidate, and the Asian group to drop Pakistan, just as they finally dropped Syria last year.”

“Governments engaged in such egregious and ongoing human rights abuses against their own people—grossly violating their basic freedoms of speech, religion and assembly—ought to have no place in the world’s highest human rights chamber.”

“We call on all UN member states to state clearly that Venezuela and Pakistan are not qualified to be members of the Human Rights Council, and to strongly oppose their candidacies.”

10 Responses to “Chavez running for seat on top UN rights body”

  • Just another in a very long list of reasons we need to get out of the United Nations. Or at the very least throw them out of the US. The UN in New York is just a staging area for spies and terrorists.There is no telling how much corporate espionage as well as military sensitive materials leave the US in diplomatic pouches.

  • Chavez…human rights council…you’ve got to be kidding?

  • Surely this is a joke being played on humankind. This man is anything but a human rights advocate, as proven by his actions in his private country. Only thing he is for is himself, and we are finding out just how well this is working for him. The rest of the slime will follow.

  • This has to be a joke. This ignorant , uneducated, human rights violator on the council will further erode the ailing image of the UN.

  • Get ready to meet your maker sir… as we all must do. You, sir, should be preparing for death rather than seeking higher office in order to try to destroy all that is good.

  • The reason why Chavez & others from Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua & others get away with the horrible Human Rights abuses and maintain cruel socialist/communist dictatorships (though they call them “social democracies”) is precisely the world’s ignorance of what is going on. It seems to be that the killings and political persecutions these governments do, are not of main concern to the first world countries unless these countries have oil. Chavez is just as bad as the Castro brothers; please do not mistake Raul Castro for being any better than Fidel Castro!

  • Honestly – no sense of humor – the man is going to die – he has a tumor.

  • Why? Sudan had it once upon a time.

  • May President Santorum boot the UN from our shores once an for all before We the People have to.

  • I think he has any right. Americans and the Brits are out there killing poeple in Pakistan and Afghanistan and previously Iraq. For what? Those are mass killings as well so they should stop being hypocrites about Chavez. And Rick Santorum will not do any of the things he has led people to believe, Ron Paul all the way!

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