Archive for the 'Jean Ziegler' Category

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Qaddafi Rights Prize Awarded to Former Malta PM for ‘Defending Palestinian and Iraqi Oppressed Peoples’

No shame: Even with the Qaddafi servant-beating and hostage episode still unresolved, the Libyan human rights prize has decided to announce its annual award. The two Maltese news articles below mention the prize-founding role of Jean Ziegler, still denied by the member of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. (At the committee’s inaugural session, Ziegler, who was nominated to his new post by Swiss Foreign Minster Micheline Calmy-Rey, this week was busy supporting Russia’s phony self-determination claims in its war with Georgia.)

Continue reading ‘Qaddafi Rights Prize Awarded to Former Malta PM for ‘Defending Palestinian and Iraqi Oppressed Peoples’’

Libya Preaches to Durban II on Racism Against Maids, as Qaddafi Jr. Arrested for Beating Maids

Many newspapers over the past few weeks have reported on Libya’s hostile measures against Switzerland and its citizens. Few, though, have noted the irony of it all, a part of which relates to the United Nations.

The Incident

The conflict began after Hannibal, the youngest son of Libyan dictator Col. Muammar Qaddafi, and his wife Aline were arrested by Geneva police in their luxury hotel, which is situated next to the UN human rights office. Two of their servants, a Moroccan man and a Tunisian woman, had complained of being beaten with a belt and coat hanger, causing hotel staff to call in the authorities. (The desert despot’s 32-year-old son has a long record of violent run-ins with the law across European capitals.)

The couple were charged with assault. Hannibal spent two evenings in detention while his wife, who came to Geneva to give birth, was transferred to a maternity unit. Released on $500,000 bail, they flew back to Libya escorted by doctors from Geneva’s main hospital.

Qaddafi’s Revenge

Retaliation was swift. Aisha Qadaffi, sister of the accused, warned that her country would respond on the principle of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” The Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution halted all oil shipments to the Helvetic confederation. Swiss companies in Libya, including Nestlé, were shut down or padlocked, and diplomats sent packing. Two Swiss nationals were seized as hostages. “Spontaneous” demonstrations against the Swiss aggressor erupted in the capital.

The outrage has ebbed, but the crisis remains. Today’s Tribune de Geneve reports that Foreign Minster Micheline Calmy-Rey may head on a special mission to Libya. Which bring us to the irony of it all.

Swiss Ironies

Of all Western democracies, the current Swiss government must be the last to ever have imagined being targeted by mad Middle East dictators, who have always felt so at home at Geneva’s hotels, boutiques and banks — so much so, that their spoiled progeny jet over to have their babies born there.

Some say Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey stumbled in her early handling of the current crisis. No wonder. She must have been in a state of shock.

After all, was it not she who, to seal a $28 billion gas deal, recently visited with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at a time when no other self-respecting democratic leader would do the same? Did she not go the extra mile to pose smilingly with the world’s most dangerous fomentor of racist hatred, even donning the Islamic headscarf, for added measure? Did she not keep silent over the brutal human rights situation in Iran, despite being asked to speak out by Shirin Ebadi, the renowned women’s rights advocate?

But it’s more.

The current Swiss government has always profited from special ties with Qaddafi – the extent to which the current episode has highlighted as never before. It turns out that half of Switzerland’s oil comes from Libya. That Libyan company Tamoil owns one of Switzerland’s two oil refineries and runs 320 filling stations in the country. The Libyans also threatened to withdraw their assets from Swiss banks. And how much is that? Some $6 billion.

But it’s more, more than just oil, investments and trade. It’s political and moral support. In the past year, Calmy-Rey and her diplomats worldwide waged a massive campaign to elect her Geneva friend Jean Ziegler — the 1989 co-founder of the “Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize” — as a senior adviser to the UN Human Rights Council. When the vote was won, Swiss UN ambassador Blaise Godet literally embraced his colleague from Cuba’s Castro regime, Ziegler’s other favorite government, thereby revealing another unholy alliance.

This week in Geneva the council’s advisors feted Ziegler at their inaugural session, while choosing as their chair the Cuban Alfonso Martinez — whose long record on a predecessor UN body included killing a resolution for the Kurdish victims gassed by Saddam in Halabja. When the current stand-off was ignited in July, Swiss newspaper Le Matin suggested Ziegler as a natural mediator. “I think Qaddafi appreciates me as a writer and intellectual, because he reads my books which are translated into Arabic in Cairo,” Ziegler told the newspaper. “There is a relationship of mutual respect and listening between us,” said Ziegler, from his place of vacation in Calabria, Italy.

However, the newspaper noted, “the sociologist categorically refuses to comment on the current crisis between Switzerland and Libya.” Nor did Ziegler ever say a word — or lift a finger – over all the years that the Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor were cruelly held hostage in Libyan jails.

Durban II: Libya Pledges to Confront “New Form of Racism Related to Maids”  

Perhaps the greatest unspoken irony is that of Libya’s role. The country currently chairs the planning of the April 2009 Durban Review Conference, the UN’s next world conference against racism and intolerance. In advance of an African preparatory session later this month, Libya has just submitted a UN questionnaire on its policies and practices.

Here we learn that the sixth principle of Qaddafi’s Green Charter “defines Libya’s society of non-discrimination.” And that the penal code “does not discriminate between local or foreign workers in Libya.”  And that Article 420 prohibits “all forms of slavery” and “forced labor.” Finally, “Libya does not only not practice racism but we combat the practice of regimes against the African people.” How? By confronting — get this — a “new form of racism related to house helpers (maids).” No less.

Yes, over the next year the world shall look to the Guide of the Revolution to guide us all on how to treat foreigners, how to practice tolerance, and — as its most shining example — how to treat house helpers and maids.

Meanwhile, in Libya, the mother of the abused Moroccan servant has been thrown into jail, and his brother forced into hiding.

Eventually, a deal will be struck, Calmy-Rey will kowtow before Qaddafi, the criminal case will be closed. Hannibal will then be free to return to his beloved Lake Geneva playground.

As Libya’s leading expert on how to address what it calls a new form of racism — how to treat house helpers — why not have Hannibal Qaddafi take the place of the current Libyan represenative and personally head the UN’s Durban II process? More than anyone, he will appreciate the job’s diplomatic immunity.

Amnesty International Urged to Withdraw Invitation to Qaddafi Supporter

Click here to read press release with hyperlinks

 Geneva, April 16, 2008 —  Amnesty International should reconsider its speaking invitation to Jean Ziegler, a UN official who co-founded the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize and has supported the regimes of Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro and other major human rights violators, said UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization (Click to read UN Watch letter).

At its annual Swiss conference to be held this Saturday in Bern, Amnesty International plans to feature Mr. Ziegler together with Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey. In a letter sent today to Amnesty Secretary-General Irene Khan, who will be appearing on the same panel, UN Watch said it was “unconscionable that Amnesty, a leading human rights organization, would invite Mr. Ziegler, and we urge you to reconsider.”

As was reported in Time Magazine and elsewhere, Mr. Ziegler co-founded the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize in 1989, seen by many as a propaganda vehicle of the Libyan regime. Past recipients include Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

The letter to Amnesty accused Mr. Ziegler of “supporting regimes that, according to your own reports, rank among the world’s worst violators of human rights, such as Zimbabwe, which Mr. Ziegler defended, saying, ‘Mugabe has history and morality with him.’”

UN Watch noted that Mr. Ziegler was recently elected to be an expert advisor to the UN Human Rights Council “by the same countries that decided to ignore the killings in Tibet and then to eviscerate protection of free speech.” Ziegler’s election drew strong protests from human rights groups and dissidents, parliamentarians in Europe and Canada, and editorialists in The Guardian, The Times of London and Investor’s Business Daily.

“The career of Mr. Ziegler symbolizes the cynical subversion of human rights that has so harmed the United Nations and its Human Rights Council… By granting Mr. Ziegler a podium at your conference, Amnesty International will harm its own reputation, and, worse, undermine the principles of the international human rights movement—and the cause of the millions of victims we are sworn to protect,” said UN Watch.

“This sends the wrong message at the wrong time,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

South Africa’s Democratic Alliance Opposes Jean Ziegler UN Nomination

http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/world.aspx?ID=BD4A734510 

Business Day (South Africa) 

By Hopewell Radebe
Diplomatic Editor

THE Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma not to support Switzerland’s nomination for the position of adviser to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council.
DA foreign affairs spokesman Tony Leon said Swiss candidate Jean Ziegler had a tainted human rights record, which should automatically disqualify him from occupying any prominent role in the promotion of human rights.
Ronnie Mamoepa, spokesman for Dlamini-Zuma, said the minister had noted Leon’s objection and would respond through the procedures for questions in the National Assembly.
Leon said the nomination should be strongly opposed as Ziegler had, in his role as UN special rapporteur, supported dictators such as Saddam Hussein, Col Mengistu of Ethiopia and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.
Leon noted Ziegler’s “openly embracing Hezbollah as a ‘national resistance movement’, and his association with holocaust denialist Roger Garaudy and his anti-Semitic viewpoints”.
“The official criteria for the position Ziegler has been nominated for are expertise in human rights, high moral standing, independence and impartiality — areas for which Jean Ziegler has displayed great disregard,” Leon said.
Diplomats said yesterday that Leon’s concerns had been raised by international human rights groups, who were lobbying other countries and the European Union to reject Ziegler’s nomination.

Former Swedish deputy prime minister Per Ahlmark and 20 international nongovernmental organisations have urged the Swiss government to withdraw the nomination of Ziegler, arguing that his “record raises serious questions as to his satisfaction of these requirements”.
Leon said SA’s voting record at the UN had damaged the country’s human rights reputation.

SA had opposed resolutions expressing concern over human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, Sudan, Belarus and Burma.

“By voting against Ziegler’s nomination, SA will help to mitigate its damaged reputation” and protect the credibility of the world’s leading intergovernmental human rights body, Leon said.

To Sounds of Cheers, UN Human Rights Council Elects Khaddafi Prize Founder to Expert Post

To the sound of cheers, and by an overhwelming majority of 40 out of 47 votes, the UN Human Rights Council today elected Jean Ziegler, the co-founder of the “Muammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize,” as an expert advisor representing the Western world. And for its new Palestine expert, the council chose Richard Falk, who, like Ziegler, accuses the U.S. of being responsible for many of the world’s ills and describes Israel in Nazi terminology.

 photo of Jean Ziegler
UN Human rights expert Jean Ziegler in Eritrea, 1976

“Even within the benighted UN Human Rights council, today was a dark day for human rights,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights monitoring agency. “The very credibility of the UN human rights system is now at stake.”

Falk was approved by consensus. Canada afterward made a statement dissociating itself from the choice. The U.S., a non–voting observer, also took the floor to criticize Falk’s published writings.

Ziegler, criticized by many for his performance as former UN expert on the right to food, earned more votes than any of the other candidates. Immediately after the vote, Swiss ambassador Blaise Godet left his seat, and, in front of all the diplomats in the plenary, walked over to warmly shake hands with the Cuban ambassador, both smiling as they congratulated each other. The Castro regime chairs the all-powerful Non-Aligned Movement.

“The Swiss Foreign Ministry has gone into the election of Ziegler with eyes wide open,” said Neuer. “The next time Ziegler praises Khaddafi, Castro or Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, they will bear direct responsibility. Having invested so much lobbying and vote-trading to install him, it is no longer credible for them to try and wash their hands of Ziegler’s abuses, claiming — as they tried to do in recent years — not to have any connection with him. From this day forward we will demand and expect the Swiss Foreign Ministry’s condemnation of his abuses, every single time.”

Norwegian Parliament Protests Jean Ziegler UN Nomination

Norway’s Progress Party, the leading opposition party in the Norwegian parliament, called on the Swiss government to withdraw the nomination of Jean Ziegler to the UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee. “In order to protect the credibility of the world’s highest intergovernmental human rights body,” the letter reads, “we urge you to withdraw [Jean Ziegler’s] nomination.”

The full text of the letter follows. Click for original letter.

* * * * *

Embassy of Switzerland

Att. Ambassador Denis Feldmeyer

Bygdøy Allé 78

0244 OSLO

Dear Ambassador,

We urge you to withdraw your government’s nomination of Jean Ziegler to the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, the election for which is scheduled today, on March 26, 2008.

If elected, Mr. Ziegler would occupy one of the only three seats allotted to Western countries. The official criteria for the position are expertise in human rights, high moral standing, independence and impartiality. An analysis of Mr. Ziegler’s record raises serious questions as to his satisfaction of these requirements. Concerns include:

  • Mr. Ziegler’s abuse of his current UN Mandate: UN special rapporteur on the right to food for the past seven years, Mr. Ziegler ignored many of the world’s most starving populations, instead focusing attention on his personal political agenda. As documented in the UN Watch report “Blind to Burundi,” during 2000 to 2004, Mr. Ziegler systematically failed to speak out for numerous food emergencies, in Burundi, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone and elsewhere.
  • Mr. Zieger’s support for serial violators of human rights: In 1986, Mr. Ziegler served as advisor to Ethiopian dictator Colonel Mengistu on a constitution instituting one-party rule. In 2002 he praised the Zimbabwean dictator, saying, “Mugabe has history and morality with him.” He paid visits to Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Kim Il-Sung in North Korea. Mr. Ziegler is also a long-time supporter of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, whose regime Mr. Ziegler hailed during an official visit in October, while he refused to meet Cuban dissidents. Also this year, during an interview in Lebanon, Mr. Ziegler said, “I refuse to describe Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. It is a national resistance movement. I can understand Hezbollah when they kidnap soldiers…”
  • Mr. Ziegler’s involvement with Libyan propaganda: In 1989, shortly after Libyan agents blew up Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, Mr. Ziegler went to Libya to co-found the “Moammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize,” and served as its Geneva spokesman. The prize has since been awarded to anti-Western dictators such as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. It has also been awarded to notorious racists and anti-Semites such as Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, and Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Muhammad. Bizarrely, although he once boasted of it, Mr. Ziegler now denies any involvement with the prize. All of this was documented in a front-page story in your country’s leading newspaper. (M. Haefliger, “Ziegler’s Libyen Connection,” Neue Zurcher Zeitung, June 25, 2006.)
  • Ziegler’s support for Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy: In 1996, Mr. Ziegler publicly defended Roger Garaudy, a French Stalinist whose book, The Founding Myths of Modern Israel, denies the Holocaust. “All your work as a writer and philosopher,” Mr. Ziegler wrote on April 1, 1996, “attests to the rigor of your analysis and the unwavering honesty of your intentions. It makes you one of the leading thinkers of our time.” In 2002, Mr. Garaudy was awarded the Khaddafi Prize—the same year that Mr. Ziegler received it as well.

Many of the world’s leading authorities have objected to Mr. Ziegler’s practices. In 2005, both UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and High Commissioner Louise Arbour publicly denounced Mr. Ziegler for having compared Israeli soldiers to concentration camp guards. He is the only UN expert to have been so reprimanded. Seventy U.S. congressmen wrote to the UN, citing Mr. Ziegler for anti-Semitism, while the Canadian government filed an official protest.

In April 2006, an international coalition of 15 non-governmental organizations, including victims of Cuban and Libyan abuses, protested Mr. Ziegler’s nomination as a UN expert, citing his disturbing record. Similarly, many scholars have questioned Mr. Ziegler’s academic credentials. For example, when he was made professor at the University of Geneva, eminent historian Herbert Luthy returned his honorary doctorate in protest.

We note that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez nominated Mr. Ziegler for the same post in 2004, but that he failed to win election.

In order to protect the credibility of the world’s highest intergovernmental human rights body—with which Switzerland is heavily involved—we urge you to withdraw this nomination. At a minimum, it should be suspended pending the results of an independent and impartial inquiry into Mr. Ziegler’s record.

Thank you.

Yours Sincerely
Mr. Morten Høglund

Foreign Affairs Spokesperson/Progress Party Parliamentary Group
Member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs

Human Rights Activists Urge Swiss to Suspend Tomorrow’s UN Nomination of Khaddafi Ally Pending Independent Inquiry

Jean Ziegler Supported Robert Mugabe and Fidel Castro, Co-Founded “Muammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize”
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Geneva, March 25, 2008 — One day before the UN Human Rights Council votes to elect its 18 expert advisors, an activist for Darfur victims, a former political prisoner from Cuba, the former deputy prime minister of Sweden, and Canada’s leading human rights advocate have joined to urge Swiss President Pascal Couchepin and Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey to suspend their nomination of Jean Ziegler, 1989 co-founder of the “Muammar Khaddadi Human Rights Prize,” pending an independent and impartial inquiry into his record. (See full text of appeal below.)

Under the direction of Mrs. Calmy-Rey, who has close political ties with Ziegler, the Swiss Foreign Ministry has been engaged in an intense campaign of UN vote-trading in order to elect the former socialist politician from Geneva in tomorrow’s vote. A glossy Swiss campaign brochure, sent to capitals around the world, describes Ziegler as a highly qualified champion of human rights.

However, Ziegler’s qualifications for the UN human rights post are challenged by activists Angel De Fana, a former political prisoner who spent 20 years in a Cuban jail, Gibreil Hamid, who heads the Darfur Peace and Development Center and often testifies for Darfur victims before the UN Human Rights Council, former Swediish deputy prime minister Per Ahlmark, and McGill University law professor Irwin Cotler, a Canadian parliamentarian and former justice minister who served as counsel to political prisoners Nelson Mandela and Andrei Sakharov.

Supported by an international coalition of more than 20 non-governmental organizations, the activists point to Ziegler’s long record of support for serial human rights violators including Libya’s Khaddafi, Fidel Castro of Cuba, Zimbabwe‘s Robert Mugabe, and Ethiopian strongman Colonel Mengistu.

In 1962, Fidel Castro’s police threw Angel De Fana in jail for being a member of a pro-democracy group named after José Martí, the Cuban writer and national hero. ”We had to hide to assemble,” said De Fana, who languished in prison from 1962 to 1983, adding that he and fellow prisoners had to endure years of forced labor. “I was forced to cut stone in a quarry.”

However, as UN expert on the right to food, Ziegler recently visited Cuba and hailed the Castro regime as a model government, and refused to meet with dissidents.

In the past five days, the Swiss president and foreign minister have also been flooded with hundreds of email appeals from around the world urging the suspension of the Ziegler nomination.

UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization, published a new video last week together with extensive documentation on Ziegler’s questionable record, and urged NGO activists to take action through a campaign on its website.

  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Letter to Swiss President Couchepin and Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey

Dear President Couchepin and Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey,

We urge you to withdraw your government’s nomination of Jean Ziegler to the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, the election for which is scheduled on March 26, 2008.

If elected, Mr. Ziegler would occupy one of the only three seats allotted to Western countries.  The official criteria for the position are expertise in human rights, high moral standing, independence and impartiality.  An analysis of Mr. Ziegler’s record raises serious questions as to his satisfaction of these requirements.  Concerns include:

• Mr. Ziegler’s abuse of his current UN Mandate: UN special rapporteur on the right to food for the past seven years, Mr. Ziegler ignored many of the world’s most starving populations, instead focusing attention on his personal political agenda.  As documented in the UN Watch report “Blind to Burundi,” during 2000 to 2004, Mr. Ziegler systematically failed to speak out for numerous food emergencies, in Burundi, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone and elsewhere.

• Mr. Zieger’s support for serial violators of human rights: In 1986, Mr. Ziegler served as advisor to Ethiopian dictator Colonel Mengistu on a constitution instituting one-party rule.  In 2002 he praised the Zimbabwean dictator, saying,  “Mugabe has history and morality with him.”  He paid visits to Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Kim Il-Sung in North Korea.  Mr. Ziegler is also a long-time supporter of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, whose regime Mr. Ziegler hailed during an official visit in October, while he refused to meet Cuban dissidents. Also this year, during an interview in Lebanon, Mr. Ziegler said, “I refuse to describe Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. It is a national resistance movement. I can understand Hezbollah when they kidnap soldiers…”

• Mr. Ziegler’s involvement with Libyan propaganda:  In 1989, shortly after Libyan agents blew up Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, Mr. Ziegler went to Libya to co-found the “Moammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize,” and served as its Geneva spokesman.  The prize has since been awarded to anti-Western dictators such as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.  It has also been awarded to notorious racists and anti-Semites such as Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, and Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Muhammad.  Bizarrely, although he once boasted of it, Mr. Ziegler now denies any involvement with the prize.  All of this was documented in a front-page story in your country’s leading newspaper.  (M. Haefliger, “Ziegler’s Libyen Connection,” Neue Zurcher Zeitung, June 25, 2006.)

• Ziegler’s support for Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy: In 1996, Mr. Ziegler publicly defended Roger Garaudy, a French Stalinist whose book, The Founding Myths of Modern Israel, denies the Holocaust. “All your work as a writer and philosopher,” Mr. Ziegler wrote on April 1, 1996, “attests to the rigor of your analysis and the unwavering honesty of your intentions.  It makes you one of the leading thinkers of our time.”  In 2002, Mr. Garaudy was awarded the Khaddafi Prize—the same year that Mr. Ziegler received it as well.

Many of the world’s leading authorities have objected to Mr. Ziegler’s practices.  In 2005, both UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and High Commissioner Louise Arbour publicly denounced Mr. Ziegler for having compared Israeli soldiers to concentration camp guards.  He is the only UN expert to have been so reprimanded.  Seventy U.S. congressmen wrote to the UN, citing Mr. Ziegler for anti-Semitism, while the Canadian government filed an official protest.

In April 2006, an international coalition of 15 non-governmental organizations, including victims of Cuban and Libyan abuses, protested Mr. Ziegler’s nomination as a UN expert, citing his disturbing record.  Similarly, many scholars have questioned Mr. Ziegler’s academic credentials.  For example, when he was made professor at the University of Geneva, eminent historian Herbert Luthy returned his honorary doctorate in protest.

We note that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez nominated Mr. Ziegler for the same post in 2004, but that he failed to win election.

In order to protect the credibility of the world’s highest intergovernmental human rights body—with which Switzerland is heavily involved—we urge you to withdraw this nomination.  At a minimum, it should be suspended pending the results of an independent and impartial inquiry into Mr. Ziegler’s record.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

Professor Irwin Cotler, M.P.
Human Rights Advocate
Member of Canadian Parliament & Opposition Critic on Human Rights
Former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General
Canada

Gibreil Hamid
Darfur Survivor
President, Darfur Peace and Development Center
Switzerland

Per Ahlmark
Former Peputy Prime Minister of Sweden
Sweden

Angel De Fana
Ex-political prisoner
Director of political prisoners’ organization
Plantados Hasta la Libertad y la Democracia
USA
 

Non-Governmental Organizations Supporting the Joint Appeal: 

Dr Charles Mwape, Hope for Africa International, Regional Director for Africa
Roy W. Brown, Main Representative, UN Geneva, International Humanist and Ethical Union
Sally Thompson, Deputy Executive Director, Thailand Burma Border Consortium, Thailand
Dr. Harris O. Schoenberg, President, United Nations Reform Advocates
Sylvia G. Iriondo, President, Mothers & Women Against Repression (M.A.R. Por Cuba)
Alessandro Pettenuzzo, President, European Union of Public Relations
Einat Erlanger, Help Others Help Themselves, Switzerland
Janisset Rivero, Cuban Democratic Directorate
Wendy Wright, President, Concerned Women for America
Wayne L. Kines, President, World Media Institute, Canada
Naghma Imdad, Director, Acid Survivors’ Foundation, Pakistan
Babette Francis, Endeavour Forum, Australia
Rama Enav, Representative to the UN in Geneva, WIZO
Rhoda Gueta, Secretariat, Resistance and Solidarity against Agrochem TNCs, Philippines
Janisset Rivero, Directorio Democratico Cubano
Professor Cesar Tolosa, Spokesperson, Tanggol Magsasaka (Peasant Network for Land, Justice and Human Rights), Philippines
Danilo Ramos, Secretary General, Asian Peasant Coalition
Anna Maria Cervone, Centrist Democrat International
Wiko lamain, Former Child Laborer, Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts
Nirvana González Rosa, Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network, Puerto Rico

Senior U.S. and European Lawmakers Protest Jean Ziegler UN Nomination

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Head of the Delegation for the Relations with the UN in the European Parliament, sent the following protest to the Swiss ambassador to the EU today.  Click here for original letter in PDF.

Sehr geehrter Botschafter,

Mit Bedauern erfuhr ich heute, dass die Schweiz Jean Ziegler als Menschenrechtsexperten für den Menschenrechtsrat der Vereinten Nationen nominiert hat.

Jean Ziegler hat durch seine Unterstützung von Diktatoren wie Mengistu Haile Mariam, Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro und Moammar Khaddafi unrühmliche Bekanntheit erreicht und ist Mitbegründer des “Moammar Khaddafi Friedenspreises”. Dieser Preis wurde unter Anderem Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez und dem Anführer der Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan verliehen. Jean Ziegler hat sich persönlich für den französischen Stalinisten Roger Garaudy stark gemacht, der in seinem Buch ” Myths of Modern Israel”, in dem der Holocaust geleugnet wird, und hat auch sonst die Vereinten Nationen stets als Plattform zur Förderung seiner unlauteren Ziele instrumentalisiert.

All dies wurde beispielsweise ausführlich in der NZZ vom 25. Juni 2006 dokumentiert (“Zieglers Libyen-Connection”).

Jean Ziegler erfüllt daher in keiner Weise die von Ihm verlangten Kriterien in den Bereichen Menschenrechte, Unabhängigkeit und Objektivität, so dass ich innständig hoffe, dass Ihre Regierung seine Nominierung für den Menschrechtsrat zurückziehen wird.

Hochachtungsvoll,
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, MdEP 

* * * * * 

Also, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Republican of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, sent the following protest. 

Ros-Lehtinen Urges Swiss Government to Withdraw Support for Jean Ziegler, Anti-Semitic Apologist for Dictators, as UN Human Rights Advisor
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) today expressed “great concern” over the possible election of Swiss national Jean Ziegler as an advisor to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

In a letter to Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged the Swiss Government to rescind its support of Ziegler, whose anti-Semitic statements and links to vicious human rights violators make him an unsuitable candidate to advise the Council. Unless support is withdrawn from Switzerland, Mr. Ziegler is expected to be elected tomorrow.

Mr. Ziegler has drawn criticism for his unyielding support of many of the world’s most vicious dictators. He has expressed “total support for the Cuban revolution” and its leader, Fidel Castro, whose repressive regime has left hundreds of political dissidents to languish in jail. Ziegler has also observed that Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean dictator who bulldozes the houses of his political opponents, has “history and morality with him.”
Mr. Ziegler’s record at the UN has also earned him notoriety. As Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, he failed to address famine emergencies throughout the world, instead using his platform to consistently attack America and Israel. In July 2005, he characterized the Gaza Strip as an “immense concentration camp,” comparing Israelis to Nazis. Then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the remark.

“Mr Ziegler’s troubling record at the United Nations demonstrates that he in no way meets the standards of impartiality or moral rectitude to hold such a post,” Ros-Lehtinen stated.

In her letter, Ros-Lehtinen underscored: “Time is of the essence, not only in blocking Mr. Ziegler’s ascension, but also in restoring credibility to the United Nation’s human rights infrastructure. The implications of allowing someone of Mr. Ziegler’s character to assume a leading role at the Human Rights Council are dire. I urge you to withdraw support of Mr. Ziegler immediately and unconditionally.”

U.N. Chief Urged to Investigate Official’s Complicity With Undercover Castro Agents

“Until Mr. Ban and Ms. Arbour take action, Jean Ziegler’s unethical conduct will cast a shadow upon the reputation and integrity of all the independent experts” — Hillel Neuer, UN Watch

Geneva, Nov. 13, 2007 — The U.N. expressed “regret” after one of its officials allowed undercover Cuban diplomats to attend a news conference where they sought information on a French journalist asking questions about Fidel Castro’s regime, the Associated Press reported today. UN Watch, the Geneva-based monitoring organization, called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour and members of the UN Human Rights Council to order a full investigation into “the tangled web of Jean Ziegler’s collusion with the Castro regime.”

Mr. Ziegler, mandated by the council to address the “right to food,” recently returned to his native Geneva after an 11-day mission to Cuba, which he hailed as a world model for how it feeds its people.

At an October 11 press conference convened by Ziegler prior to his departure — where he announced that he would visit Cuba not to investigate violations but rather to praise its government — a journalist who asked critical questions was quickly singled out by undercover Cuban diplomats who had entered the room in violation of a strict U.N. prohibition. The officials asked other journalists to identify the name and agency of the reporter who debated Ziegler.

Continue reading ‘U.N. Chief Urged to Investigate Official’s Complicity With Undercover Castro Agents’




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