Archive for the 'Human Rights Council (UNHRC)' Category

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Canada Rejects UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Criticism of Israel’s Response to Rocket Attacks from Gaza

baird

 

Photo: Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird receiving UN Watch award in September 2013

 

Canada Rejects UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Criticism of Israel’s Response to Rocket Attacks from Gaza 

July 12, 2014 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Canada rejects UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay’s uncalled-for criticism of Israel’s response to rocket attacks from Gaza. Focusing her comments on Israel is neither helpful nor reflective of the reality of this crisis.

“There must be no moral equivalence between Hamas, a listed terrorist organization, and its blatant disregard for human life, and the liberal democratic State of Israel’s duty and obligation to defend its people from cowardly and indiscriminate attacks. Continue reading ‘Canada Rejects UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Criticism of Israel’s Response to Rocket Attacks from Gaza’

The Proliferation of “Human Rights”- A Dictator’s Best Friend

This month at the UN saw the discussion of three seemingly “human rights” declarations – one on the Right to Peace, one on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas, and one on the Right of Peoples and Individuals to International Solidarity. But why are they unable to garner consensus? And why do so many democracies criticize them either for their lack of clarity, or their outright uselessness?

In a UN meeting on the Right to Peace, several democracies expressed concerns that trying to define such a right would possibly be dangerous to human rights, that it is too vague, that in fact the Right to Peace cannot be recognized as either an individual right or as a collective one, and that it does not reflect any international principles enshrined in the UN Charter.

In a meeting on the Right of Peasants, similar concerns were expressed. The EU stated that it is not convinced that a declaration is the best way forward, that the existing normative framework is sufficient to protect human rights and that the problem is one of implementation. South Korea also had “strong reservations” on whether it was really needed.

The Declaration on International Solidarity is no more promising, containing an array of watery phrases like:

Continue reading ‘The Proliferation of “Human Rights”- A Dictator’s Best Friend’

UN Racism Expert Condemns Holocaust Denial

Unlike its discredited predecessor, the Human Rights Council has not passed one single resolution condemning antisemitism. (The Commission on Human Rights used to condemn antisemitism in 3 separate resolutions each year. Not much has changed since our 2004-2007 The United Nations and Anti-Semitism Report Card.)

Yet, in a recent welcome development, Mr. Mutuma Ruteere, the UN’s expert on racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, had some tough words for antisemites across the world. In his most recent report, the expert dedicated an entire section to “Countering Holocaust denial and the distortion of History” and included another section outlining successful methods for combating neo-Nazis and skinheads.

In particular, the report explicitly defines and denounces modern Holocaust denial. The report defines Holocaust denial as 1) denying six million Jews were killed during the Second World War; 2) professing the Nazis had no official policy or intention to exterminate Jews; and 3) extermination and concentration camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau never existed.

The expert explains that while the Holocaust “is one of the well-documented events in recent history,” Holocaust denial is driven directly by antisemitism and as a tool for advancing the conspiracy of Jewish world domination. This antisemitism, the expert continues, also manifests in overtly antisemitic events and actions such as a full military funeral of an SS officer, a celebration of a Nazi military victory, and the promotion of antisemitic views by a comedian [alluding to French “comedian” Dieudonne] and other public personalities.
Continue reading ‘UN Racism Expert Condemns Holocaust Denial’

Rights Group Welcomes ‘Landmark’ UN Vote Creating Inquiry on Eritrea Abuses

Rights Group Welcomes ‘Landmark’ UN Vote Creating Inquiry on Eritrea Abuses 

Eritrean delegation interrupted testimony by Eritrean human rights dissident brought by UN Watch

GENEVA, June 27, 2014 – Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch welcomed the Human Rights Council’s “landmark” creation of a commission of inquiry into human rights abuses in Eritrea, in a resolution that was adopted by consensus today at the 47-nation body.

The resolution “strongly condemns” the Eritrean authorities for perpetrating “widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

“It speaks volumes that thousands of Eritreans are fleeing every month to escape their country’s grave abuses,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

“Today’s resolution sends the message that the time has arrived to seek minimal human rights accountability from the Eritrean government.”

“Let’s not forget that Eritrea is one of the few countries without any reporting on the human rights situation from within, and a complete lack of access by international human rights observers, rendering monitoring of human rights conditions on the ground extremely challenging,” said Neuer.

Continue reading ‘Rights Group Welcomes ‘Landmark’ UN Vote Creating Inquiry on Eritrea Abuses’

Rights group urges countries to vote today for landmark UN inquiry on Eritrea abuses

GENEVA, June 26, 2014 – Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch called on all 47 member states of the Human Rights Council to vote in favor of creating a landmark commission of inquiry into human rights abuses in Eritrea, as proposed in a draft resolution, sponsored by Somalia, that is slated for a vote today.

(See resolution A/HRC/26/L.6, “Situation of human rights in Eritrea,” listed on today’s Order of the Day.)

 If adopted, the resolution would “strongly condemn” the Eritrean authorities for perpetrating “widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The text cites arbitrary and extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, the use of torture, arbitrary and incommunicado detention without recourse to justice, and detention in inhumane and degrading conditions. Continue reading ‘Rights group urges countries to vote today for landmark UN inquiry on Eritrea abuses’

Mother of Kidnapped Israeli Teenager Neftali Frankel Addresses UN

UN Watch invited Rachel Frankel, the mother of 16-year-old Israeli-American kidnap victim Naftali Frankel, who was one of three boys abducted on June 12th, to address United Nations Human Rights Council this morning to appeal for international support of the boys’ safe return. (See video of her speech. Transcript after the jump).

UN Watch also facilitated meetings for the three mothers with international officials, including UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri.

Continue reading ‘Mother of Kidnapped Israeli Teenager Neftali Frankel Addresses UN’

UN’s Dictatorships Fail to Stop “2014 Catalog of UN Inaction on Global Rights Abuses”

Testimony before the UN Human Rights Council delivered today, 19 June 2014, by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, under Agenda Item 3, “Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.”

Mr. President,

The members of this Council have been mandated by the international community to protect victims of human rights violations around the world.

Is the Council living up to its mandate?

Let us consider the most fundamental of all human rights—the right to life—by examining what has happened in the world, over the past 12 months:

July 2013, Turkey: Doctors report that in the Gezi Park protests, police killed 5 people, wounded 8,163 and used chemical riot control weapons against more than 10,000.

August, Egypt: Authorities crush the sit-in held by supporters of deposed president Morsi, killing 1,000 people.

September, Iran: One month after President Rouhani’s inauguration, amid promises of human rights reforms, Iranian officials ignore UN appeals, and hang a record 50 individuals.

Did the council respond with any resolutions, urgent debates, or inquiries to determine the facts, and hold perpetrators accountable? No. Its response was silence.

October, Afghanistan: Terrorists bomb a minibus, killing 14 women and a child who were on their way to celebrate a wedding.

November, Libya: Militia kill 31 during protests in Tripoli, injuring 235.

December, South Sudan: BBC reports mass ethnic killings, including 200 shot by security forces.

January, Pakistan: 236 civilians killed by terrorist attacks.

This Council’s response? Silence.

February, Ukraine: Police kill 75 protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square.

March, China: Activist Cao Shunli, who was arrested for trying to travel to Geneva and participate this Council, mysteriously dies in prison.

 April, Iraq: 750 Iraqis killed, 1,541 injured by terrorism.

May, Venezuela: Troops arrest 243 student protesters and kill one of their own, bringing the death toll to 42 since the start of the opposition protests.

Finally, June — a few weeks ago — in Nigeria: Boko Haram massacres 200 civilians while still holding the 276 school girls it abducted in April…

At this point Mr. Neuer’s testimony was interrupted by points of order claiming that the content was outside of the agenda item, and requesting the Chair to stop him from speaking. Venezuela said Neuer was “out of order,” echoed by Cuba, China, Iran, Pakistan, and Egypt, the latter saying that the subject matter of the speech was “inappropriate.” Mr. Neuer’s right to speak was, however, defended by representatives of the U.S. , France, Ireland, Canada, Norway, and Britain. The Chair read out the relevant rules of procedure, and gave the floor back to UN Watch.

Mr. President, if it “inappropriate” to speak about the urgent need to take action for victims of human rights violations around the world, then why are we here?

Thank you, Mr. President.

UN Watch Interactive Dialogue with UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea

Testimony by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, June 18

Thank you, Madam Rapporteur.

UN Watch commends the Special Rapporteur for her report, which documents gross and systematic violations of human rights in Eritrea . We fully support renewal of your mandate, and greatly appreciate your vital work. Continue reading ‘UN Watch Interactive Dialogue with UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea’

UN Elevates Syria: Business as Usual

Testimony before the UN Human Rights Council, delivered by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, 18 June 2014, during the Interactive Dialogue with the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry on Syria. 

Mr. President, what the Commission of Inquiry has just described is a living hell. Faced with continuing reports of Syria’s mass murder, torture, rape, and gassing of civilians by chemical weapons, how is the United Nations responding?

With notable exceptions, this inquiry being one, the UN’s policy toward Syria can be described in three words: business as usual.

Consider the following. In November 2011, well into Syria’s atrocities, UNESCO elected the Syrian regime—unanimously—to its human rights committee.

I ask the commission: what message did the UN send, when—up until only a few  months ago—it allowed the Assad regime to sit as a judge of petitions submitted by human rights victims from around the world?

But Mr. President, it didn’t stop there. On February 20th of this year, as Syria’s Juhayna news trumpeted with glee, that country, that mass murdering regime, was “unanimously re-elected as Rapporteur of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization.”

In fact, as we meet, that committee—with Syria as its Rapporteur—is in session this week in New York, debating the future of Gibraltar, the Falklands, Bermuda, French Polynesia and New Caledonia. Continue reading ‘UN Elevates Syria: Business as Usual’

Today: Senate to finally confirm new US rep to UN Human Rights Council

Today at 5:30 pm the U.S. Senate is expected to finally confirm the appointment of a new American ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council.

Keith-Harper

From Indianz.com:

The Senate is set to vote on yet another historic nomination for Indian Country. Keith Harper, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, has been nominated to serve as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council. If confirmed, he will be the first member of a federally-recognized tribe to serve in an ambassador-rank post. According to the Senate floor schedule, Harper’s nomination is due to considered at 5:30pm on June 2. Harper will first need to survive a cloture vote, which requires at least 51 votes, before he gets to a final vote.

From U.S. Senate Executive Calendar: Continue reading ‘Today: Senate to finally confirm new US rep to UN Human Rights Council’

The Open Anti-Semitism on Richard Falk’s Blog

Falk elver blog shot

As Richard Falk exits the UN, and as his wife Hilal Elver — who is co-director of the institute which sponsors the blog below — enters the UN as a newly-appointed investigator of its Human Rights Council, it is important to appreciate the open anti-Semitism that their heavily-moderated blog hosts on a regular basis, apart from Falk’s own notorious posts that have earned condemnation from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other world figures.

One example is the crude anti-Jewish rantings of a regular and approved commenter on Falk’s blog who goes by the name of Walker Percy. Continue reading ‘The Open Anti-Semitism on Richard Falk’s Blog’

U.S. and Canada blast today’s UN appointment of Richard Falk’s wife, citing ‘biased and inflammatory views’

U.S. and Canada blast today’s UN appointment of Richard Falk’s wife, citing ‘biased and inflammatory views,’ ‘abysmal judgment’ 

Goldstone Report Co-Author Christine Chinkin Loses Bid for Palestine Post to Indonesian Diplomat

Today, as controversial UN official Richard Falk ended his 6-year term as human rights investigator, the UN appointed his wife and academic partner, Hilal Elver Falk, to her own 6-year term as a human rights investigator. The couple co-direct a research institute.

GENEVA, May 8, 2014 —  UN Watch condemned the UN’s “bizarre, nepotistic, and politically-driven” decision today to hand a top human rights post to the controversial wife and academic partner of discredited official Richard Falk, on the same day that he ended his own 6-year term as UN investigator of Israeli violations.

Despite submitting an application form riddled with self-disqualifying answers, non-sequiturs, and more than 20 spelling mistakes, Hilal Elver (also known as Hilal Elver Falk) was named UN special rapporteur on the right to food, a position initiated by Cuba and first held by Jean Ziegler, founder and recipient of the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize.

“Decisions like this threaten to turn the UN into a joke,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

“Falk was an open admirer of 9/11 conspiracy theorists and an apologist for terror groups whose term was finally up, so now the UN installed his closest professional collaborator — his wife.”

Elver and her husband Falk teachlecture and publish together. They also co-direct a research institute.

Falk was condemned repeatedly during his term by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the U.S., Britain and Canada for promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories and endorsing an anti-Semitic book.

At the same time, UN Watch welcomed the strong objections expressed by the U.S. and Canada, which followed a month-long protest campaign by the the Geneva human rights group.

U.S. Blasts Elver’s “Biased and Inflammatory Views”

“The United States again expresses its concern,” said the U.S. in a statement today, citing Elver’s “lack of relevant experience” and questioning “her readiness for this assignment.”

In addition, the U.S. pointed to Elver’s “biased and inflammatory views” regarding the United States and Israel, which it said “run counter to the dispassionate professionalism central to the work of a Special Rapporteur.”

The U.S. said the appointment “could reflect negatively on the Council’s other special procedures mandates, most of which produce crucial work that highlights, promotes, and protects human rights around the world.”

Canada FM Condemns Elver’s “Abysmal Judgment”

“Her public record clearly demonstrates abysmal judgment, as well as associations with fringe groups,” Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said in a letter sent to Baudelaire Ndong Ella, a diplomat from the African country of Gabon and current UNHRC president.

Elver is one of 19 academics and former diplomats named today as independent experts of the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council.

“Apart from Elver, many excellent people were chosen today, and we look forward to working with them to advance human rights for victims worldwide,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

“It is truly a shame that many of the independent experts who are the crown jewels of the UN human rights system should have their work tarnished by indefensible UN appointments driven purely by politics and anti-Western and anti-Israel ideological agendas.”

UN Watch had sent a letter, objecting to Elver’s failure to satisfy the UN post’s official criteria, to the U.S., Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Romania and the UK, all of whom are voting members on the UNHRC, and to Canada, an observer.

Elver has joined her husband on numerous occasions in supporting the work of 9/11 conspiracy theorists, and in accusing the West and Israel of Islamophobia and “genocide.”

“Hilal Elver is not only Richard Falk’s wife, employee and main collaborator, but she echoes his crude and simplistic post-colonial narrative, which demonizes America, the West, and Israel, while praising dictators like Erdogan and the books of 9/11 conspiracy theorists,” said Neuer.

Co-Author of Goldstone Report Loses Bid to Replace Falk; Indonesian Diplomat is Named Instead 

In an upset for LSE professor Christine Chinkin, co-author of the UN’s Goldstone Report, the council dropped her name as Falk’s intended replacement, instead naming former Indonesian diplomat Makarim Wibisono to the post.

This is second time that Chinkin applied yet failed to get the post. In 2006, she was defeated by Falk.

“While UN Watch was the first to express concerns over several of his past UN statements made on behalf of Indonesia,” said Neuer, “I met and interacted with Ambassador Wibisono in 2005 when he was Chair of the former UN Commission on Human Rights, a position that he fulfilled with fairness and professionalism.”

“Despite the bias inherent in this one-sided UN mandate, which only examines Israel and presumes guilt in advance, I hope that Ambassador Wibisono will turn a new page for the UN position.”

“Falk’s 6-year tenure was marked by baseless and inflammatory condemnations of Israel that only caused polarization, threatening to push the parties apart.”

“We need someone now who will respect universal standards, genuinely protect the human rights of all citizens, and uphold the UN’s purpose of bringing people together.”

Continue reading ‘U.S. and Canada blast today’s UN appointment of Richard Falk’s wife, citing ‘biased and inflammatory views’’

Netherlands to come under microscope of U.N. racism investigators

Professor-Verlene-Shepherd-in-red-royal-traditional-African-dress-Chair-of-The-Working-Group-of-Experts-on-People-of-African-Descent-e1384081526480

Five U.N. investigators of racial discrimination will be heading to the Netherlands in June, the world body has announced, following their accusations that the Dutch practice racism with the “Black Pete” figure (Zwarte Piet) of the national Sinterklaas celebrations.

The U.N. Human Rights Council’s Working Group on people of African descent only visits one country per year, and therefore the selection of the Netherlands marks it as a country of priority global concern. 

Last year, the working group was among a group of U.N. human rights experts who sent this allegation letter to the Netherlands, demanding a reply as to whether or not “the character and image of Black Pete perpetuate a stereotyped image of African people and people of African descent as second-class citizens, fostering an underlying sense of inferiority within Dutch society and stirring racial differences as well as racism.”

The Dutch government’s reply letter acknowledged a public debate on the matter, but rejected several premises underlying the U.N. accusations.

The working group will be undertaking its country visit to the Netherlands from June 30 to July 4, when they will ask about measures taken by the government for the elimination of racial discrimination against people of African descent.

The five U.N. investigators are: Ms. Mireille Fanon-Mendes France (Chairperson, France); Ms. Monorama Biswas (Bangladesh); Ms. Mirjana Najcevska (Macedonia); Ms. Maya Sahli (Algeria); and Ms. Verene Shepherd (Jamaica).

While some people of African descent in the Netherlands have complained about the stereotyping in Zwaarte Piet, others, such as in the former Dutch colony of Suriname, appear to accept it.

The U.N. investigators in their letter accuse The Netherlands of violating the anti-racism provisions of:

– Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
– Article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
– Article 2 and 26 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

They also accuse the Dutch of breaching:
– Article 15 of ICESCR (right to take part in cultural life)
– The 1992 Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

Shaky road to important peaceful protest resolution

In a year that has seen protests in the Ukraine, Venezuela and Turkey, to name but a few, the UN Human Right’s Council resolution, passed on Friday 28 March, on The promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests, tried to safeguard this right.

Yet, despite its significance, its road to approval was paved with difficulties and idiosyncrasies: Continue reading ‘Shaky road to important peaceful protest resolution’

States try to silence UN Watch 18 times, but in vain

UN Watch was very active during the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which just concluded. We delivered a total of 10 statements on a variety of issues and we hosted two family members of human rights defenders who are currently in jail, Julieta Lopez, aunt of Leopoldo Lopez of Venezuela and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Dr. Wang Bingzhang of China.

UN Watch speakers were interrupted 18 times by states that did not like to hear what we were saying. Most of the time, it was by members of the Human Rights Council who have pledged to “uphold the highest standard of human rights.”

First on the list was Venezuela with 5 interruptions and then were the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia with 3 each. Cuba and Pakistan interrupted UN Watch twice each, and once by Algeria, China and Morocco.  The President stood firm and he allowed the UN Watch speaker to conclude at every occasion.

Continue reading ‘States try to silence UN Watch 18 times, but in vain’

UN expert on Chinkin: ‘a basis for questioning the appearance of bias’

Chinkin 1

Application of Christine Chinkin

London School of Economics professor Christine Chinkin is now slated to replace Richard Falk as UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, a position that, despite its title, in fact requires examining only “Israel’s violations of the principles and bases of international law.”

She had applied for the same post back in 2008, and was then shortlisted in second place after Falk.

Her chances improved this time after she served in 2009 as a key author of the infamous Goldstone Report, a document that effectively exonerated Hamas while excoriating Israel.

When Judge Goldstone later retracted the core accusation of the report, Chinkin joined with the two others to accuse him in all but name of misrepresenting facts in order to cast doubt on the credibility of their joint report.

Chinkin first made her name at the UN by serving with Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the HRC’s 2006 inquiry into the deaths of 19 Palestinians killed in Beit Hanoun by errant Israeli shells. It is widely recognized that Chinkin oversaw the work of the panel.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour had initially tried to convince Canadian MP and law professor Irwin Cotler, a former justice minister, to serve on the inquiry. He immediately declined, however citing the one-sided mandate, which “violated the presumption of innocence.”

“How could one accept a fact-finding mission with a prior determination of guilt, a kind of Alice in Wonderland inquiry, where the conviction was secured and the sentence passed even before the inquiry began?” Professor Cotler later said in a speech before the council plenary. Continue reading ‘UN expert on Chinkin: ‘a basis for questioning the appearance of bias’’

Yemen on behalf of Arab Group demands appointment of Christine Chinkin, co-author of Goldstone Report

UN Watch has obtained a copy of a new Arab Group letter demanding that the UNHRC replace Richard Falk with Christine Chinkin, co-author of the Goldstone Report

MISSION PERMANENTE DE LA REPUBLIQUE DU YEMEN GENEVE

H.E Mr. Baudelaire Ndong Ella
President of the Human Rights Council
Geneva

26th of March 2014

Excellency,

We are writing to you regarding the nomination of the Special Rapporteur in the OPT. This position was established by the Commission of Human Rights in its resolution E/CN.4/RES/1993/2 (A) of 19 February 1993, which, in detailing the mandate, decided inter alia that the special rapporteur will “report, with his conclusions and recommendations, to the Commission on Human Rights at its future sessions, until the end of the Israeli occupation of those territories” (0P4 (c)).

We would like to draw your attention to the following considerations when appointing the mandate holder:

At the outset, we would like to reiterate the relevant provisions set out in the IB package, in particular paragraph 39, which indicates that the mandate holder appointment should be based on the criteria of (a) expertise; (b) experience in the field of the mandate; (c) independence; (d) impartiality; (e) personal integrity; and (f) objectivity, and paragraph 52, which emphasizes the importance inter alia of broad consultations, in particular through the regional coordinators, in guiding the President of the Council in his/her identification of an appropriate candidate for each vacancy.  Continue reading ‘Yemen on behalf of Arab Group demands appointment of Christine Chinkin, co-author of Goldstone Report’

Palestinians submit updated resolutions to UNHRC

Last week, UN Watch published five unofficial draft resolutions on Israel, drafted by the Palestinians and the Islamic bloc, that had been circulated informally among diplomats at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The following updated texts have now been formally submitted to the Council, for adoption on Thursday or Friday:

  1. Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan
  2. Human rights situation in Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem
  3. Follow-up to the report of the United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
  4. Human Rights in the occupied Syrian Golan 
  5. Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

 

 

PA tries to stop UN Watch quoting the PA on need to fire Richard Falk

UN Watch testimony to UN Human Rights Council delivered  by executive director Hillel Neuer, 24 March 2014. The speech was interrupted numerous times by the Palestinian Authority, supported with objections by Cuba, Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Venezuela.

Mr. Falk, in this, your final report, you address the six years of your now-ending term. Were they a success? Let us consider. Did you promote human rights? We could ask the Israeli people. But the terms of your mandate refused to consider their human rights, so we cannot ask them. Let us ask the Palestinian people. We should hear from their sole legitimate representative. Continue reading ‘PA tries to stop UN Watch quoting the PA on need to fire Richard Falk’

UN rights council plans BDS assault on Israel, but Israeli diplomats are on strike

While Israeli diplomats remain on strike, the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council is planning to launch a massive attack on the Jewish state next week in a series of five resolutions that — expressly citing controversial UN official Richard Falk — include new accusations of racism, along with calls to impose “international criminal liability” on businesses with indirect links amounting to “corporate complicity in breaches of international law related to illegal settlements.”

The following draft resolutions, drafted by Syria and the Palestinian Authority, are scheduled to be adopted on March 27-28, at the end of 25th session of the Human Rights Council:

1. Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

Analysis: replete with inflammatory and one-sided language including new BDS-themed provisions inspired by Richard Falk’s latest report. Continue reading ‘UN rights council plans BDS assault on Israel, but Israeli diplomats are on strike’

Top lawmakers, rights activists, NGOs call for suspension of Russia, China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia from UNHRC

Campaign to Suspend China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia from the United Nations Human Rights Council

WHEREAS every human being is guaranteed the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948;

WHEREAS, in contempt of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, gross and systematic violations of human rights have been and continue to be perpetrated by the governments of China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia, as documented in evidence collected by United Nations Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies, human rights experts and non-governmental organizations; Continue reading ‘Top lawmakers, rights activists, NGOs call for suspension of Russia, China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia from UNHRC’

‘For Russia, protection of human rights and freedoms is a basic priority,’ FM Lavrov tells UNHRC after being elected new member

Sergey Lavrov

Statement by H.E. Mr. Sergey V. Lavrov,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of
the Russian Federation

at the high-level segment of the
25th session of the UN Human Rights Council

Last year Russia was once again elected member of the United Nations Human Rights Council by an overwhelming majority. We appreciate this support which we view as an acknowledgement of our country’s constructive approach to this sphere of multilateral cooperation.

For the Russian Federation, the protection of human and civil rights and freedoms is a basic priority enshrined in its Constitution. As President Vladimir Putin has stressed, the relevant provisions of Russia’s fundamental law establishing these rights and freedoms are unalterable, We continue to work on developing civil society and improving the standards of living of our people.

Continue reading ‘‘For Russia, protection of human rights and freedoms is a basic priority,’ FM Lavrov tells UNHRC after being elected new member’

What do these four countries have in common?

BDS Fail: Falk ally Phyllis Bennis loses UN bid

Today, following the recent announcement by Hamas apologist Phyllis Bennis that she made it to the shortlist to replace UN monitor Richard Falk, her colleague Fiona Dove, Amsterdam-based head of the anti-Western Transnational Institute, enthusiastically tweeted the good news:

Eight minutes later, after she discovered that Bennis has been defeated after her long record of bias was exposed by UN Watch, Dove retracted:

If quoting terror apologists’ own words constitute “scurrilous attacks,” we plead guilty.

UNRWA campaign suppresses Yarmouk victims’ Palestinian identity


Yarmouk-suffering
The UN agency on Palestinian refugees has launched a major campaign for Palestinians being starved by the Assad regime in the Damsacus-area Yarmouk refugee camp. Curiously and without precedent, however, the campaign suppresses any mention that the victims are Palestinians.

It would seem that because Israel cannot be painted as the villain, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was unable to voice its usual narrative, and instead settled on this bizarre formulation.

Continue reading ‘UNRWA campaign suppresses Yarmouk victims’ Palestinian identity’

Human Rights Council in violation of its founding resolution?

When the Human Rights Council was created, according to paragraph 6 of its founding resolution 60/251, it assumed “all mandates, mechanisms, functions and responsibilities of the Commission on Human Rights in order to maintain a system of special procedures, expert advice and a complaint procedure.” In addition, the Council had to “review and, where necessary, improve and rationalize” all these mandates “within one year after the holding of its first session,” that is by June 2007.

Indeed all of its some 40 Special Procedure mandates went through the RRI process (review, rationalize and improve), apart from one: the mandate on Palestine.

The council’s lead expert on Israel has the title of “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” The position has been held from 2008 to 2014 by Richard Falk. The title is deliberately misleading, designed to mask the one-sided nature of the HRC’s permanent investigative mandate on Israel. The mandate as it actually is applies only to Israeli actions—and with its violations presumed in advance.

Amnesty International has called for the mandate to be subjected to RRI process, like all other mandates in the transition from the commission to the council. The president of the council at the time, Ambassador Doru Costea of Romania, also called for the mandate to be subject to the RRI process.

However, this never took place, and the Council continues to be in violation of its founding resolution.

Academia mirrors UN Watch on effectiveness of UN Human Rights Council

UN Watch regularly comments on how the Human Rights Council (HRC) fails to stand up to its founding principles and protect victims around the world. We often criticize the overwhelming power and influence that non-democracies hold in relation to democracies. Academics from around the world who research the HRC share the same conclusions. Their disenchantment is justified by empirical and qualitative research on a variety of themes. Some of these noteworthy articles are listed below:

 

The author discusses how notorious human rights violators are elected to the UNHRC in order not only to discourage international and domestic criticism, but to reward their allies with favorable trade and aid agreements. Through a series of regression analysis models measuring economic factors (trade and aid from China to Africa) and political factors (leadership failures rates of non-democratic states that are elected to the UNHRC) he concludes that that non-democratic leaders are Continue reading ‘Academia mirrors UN Watch on effectiveness of UN Human Rights Council’

UN calls out Malaysia for reprisal against “un-Islamic” NGOs

This press release just came in from the UN .

10  January 2014

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville

Malaysia

We are concerned about the recent decision of Malaysia’s Ministry of Home Affairs to declare COMANGO — a coalition compris[ed] of 54 Malaysian civil society organizations – illegal.

On 8 January 2014, the Ministry of Home Affairs declared in a press statement that COMANGO, which consists mainly of non-Islamic organizations, promotes rights which are not in line with Islam and is therefore illegal. The statement also notes that only 15 of the 54 organisations are registered under the Societies Act 1966.

The COMANGO coalition submitted joint reports to both the 2009 and 2013 Universal Periodic Reviews of Malaysia. Since its submission to the second cycle of the UPR, which took place on 24 October 2013, the coalition has reportedly been subjected to a series of harassment and threats, allegedly by both state and non-state actors. The coalition has been accused of attacking Islam and of spreading beliefs that do not conform to Islamic teachings.

We are concerned at what appears to be an act of reprisal against COMANGO for its engagement with international human rights mechanism, notably the UPR. The Secretary-General, the Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner Navi Pillay have persistently called for the protection of individuals and members of groups that cooperate with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights from acts of intimidation or reprisal.

We call upon Government of Malaysia to amend the Societies Act 1966, maximise the space for human rights activists and organisations to operate freely, and ensure that they can conduct their legitimate activities without intimidation or harassment.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon speaks out for gay rights

The next step would be for Mr. Ban to actually call out the abusers:

HRW and the Al Qaeda funder: Not even a smidgen of contrition?

By @HillelNeuer

Amazingly, the discovery that a Geneva NGO is in fact headed by an Al Qaeda bagman has not prompted my good friends at Human Rights Watch from severing ties. The Washington Times reports:

Despite the addition of Al Karama leaders to terrorist watch lists, established human rights NGOs are not ruling out working with the group in the future. Human Rights Watch said Naimi’s terrorist designation should not detract from the rest of Al Karama’s work.

“The accused terrorist has resigned from Al Karama,” said Human Rights Watch spokesperson Emma Daly, referring to Naimi, who has not resigned. “Al Karama’s position would suggest it doesn’t identify with al Qaeda despite the unproven allegations against its former non-executive chair.”

Would suggest.

Unproven.

Non-executive.

Now that Human Rights Watch has every reason to believe that one of its partners is headed by a terrorist funder — a man already on record advocating war against the Zionist and American aggressors for stealing the wealth of the Muslim Ummah — can the relentless advocate of accountability not show even a smidgen of contrition?




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