On Friday, March 1, 2013, the Human Rights Council held a “High-Level Panel on Human Rights Mainstreaming.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered opening remarks.
One of the keynote speakers was Sheika Moza bint Nazer, Consort of the Emir of the State of Qatar, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education. In a panel that was meant to discuss education and MDGs, she used the opportunity to make politicized and biased arguments against Israel.
In the beginning of her speech, refering to Israel’s no show at the UPR, she argued:
We must not allow the legitimacy of the Human Rights Council to be jeopardized by one country. I urge council to use all appropriate measures to ensure that this review continues to be an equal process.
Further on, the only example she offered when discussing education during conflict was Gaza:
It is unacceptable that education continues to be a victim of conflict. Take the example of Gaza, where the impact of the blockage continues to have a crippling effect, especially on education. Schools have been damaged. Supplies, from chairs to textbooks and pencils, cannot get in.
Since 2009, the Al Fakhoora program has been working with UNDP to enable young people to pursue higher education. Helping to reconstruct buildings. Providing psycho-social support
It is seeking to address some of the damage caused by same country that is trying now to escape scrutiny of its human rights record through the Universal Periodic Review.
It is morally wrong and sad when people misuse the UN podium and UN titles, both meant to address universal issues, in repeating short-sighted political arguments of their national governments.