Top EU Legislators Appeal Against UNHRC Candidacies of China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam

Appeal Against Unworthy UN Human Rights Candidacies

Excellency,

We, the undersigned members of parliament, human rights activists and non-governmental organizations, call on you to publicly oppose the candidacies of Algeria, China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, for seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council, elections for which will be held on November 12, 2013. We urge you to take action to defeat these manifestly unworthy candidacies, which threaten to cast a shadow upon the reputation of the Council—and of the United Nations as a whole.

Candidates for the UN Human Rights Council, according to General Assembly Resolution 60/251, are supposed to be countries that “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.”

Yet it is widely recognized that Algeria, China, Cuba Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam fail to meet these basic membership criteria. They have poor if not abysmal records on human rights protection at home, and on human rights promotion at the UN.

Rather than giving these non-democratic governments influence over vital decision on human rights, we urge you to introduce resolutions at the United Nations to hold these nations accountable, and to condemn their gross and systematic human rights violations.

Silence is complacency. For the sake of millions of victims worldwide who need a credible and effective international human rights body, please do not be silent.

Sincerely,

Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP
European Parliament Vice-President for Human Rights & Democracy

Elmar Brok, MEP
Chair of Committee on Foreign Affairs, European Parliament

Guy Verhofstadt, MEP
Leader of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)
Former Prime Minister of Belgium

Baroness Deech
Member of the British House of Lords
Academic, lawyer, bioethicist, former Principal of St Anne’s College, Oxford

Baroness Ludford
Member of European Parliament, UK
Nonvoting member of the House of Lords

Honourable Irwin Cotler, MP
Member of Canadian Parliament, Liberal Party Critic for Rights & Freedoms, International Justice
Former Justice Minister & Attorney General

Emanuelis Zingeris, MP
President of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, Lithuania

Matyas Eörsi
Secretary General of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, former MP, Hungary

András Schiffer, MP
Head of Parliamentary Group, Hungary

Katalin Ertsey, MP
Vice-chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Hungary

Frank Heinrich, MP
Deutscher Bundestag

Angelika Werthmann, MEP
Austria

Dr. Mantas Adoménas, MP
Lithuania

Michael Danby, MP
Australia

Andres Herkel, MP
Estonia

Fiona Hall, MEP
United Kingdom

Egidijus Vareikis, MP
Lithuania

Mart Nutt, MP
Estonia

Juku-Kalle Raid, MP
Estonia

Bi-khim Hsiao
Member of the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan

Hans van Baalen, MEP
Netherlands

Igor Gräzin, MP
Estonia

Hannu Takkula, MEP
Finland

Rait Maruste, MP
Estonia

Bálint Magyar
Former MP and minister of education and culture, Hungary

László Rajk
Architect, former MP, Hungary

United Nations Watch
Hillel Neuer, Executive Director
Switzerland

Human Rights Foundation
Thor Halvorssen, President

Initiatives for China
Yang Jianli, President

Council for a Community of Democracies
Robert LaGamma, President

The Gulf Institute
Ali AlAhmed

Mothers and Women against Repression, M.A.R. Por Cuba
Sylvia Iriondo, President

Viet Tan
Do Hoang Diem, Chairman

Cuban Democratic Directorate
John Suarez, International Secretary

United Towns Agency for North South Cooperation
Simonne Piazzini, Secretary General

Associated Country Women of the World
Sharon Hatten, UN Committee Chair

Gram Bharati Samiti (GBS)
Bhawani Shanker Kusum, Executive Director
India

Christian Coalition
Charles Mwape, President
Zambia

TicinoTibet
Tashi Albertini, President

Gender Empowerment and Development (GeED)
Tilder Kumichii, Programme Coordinator
Cameroon

Consorcio desarrollo y Justicia
Carlos E . Tinoco
Venezuela

Collectif Urgence Darfour
Jacky Mamou, President

France Syrie Démocratie
Bernard Schalscha, Secretary-General

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