Archive for the 'North South 21' Category

Ramsey Clark to defend Syria at U.N. with Assad front groups

Former U.S. Attorney-General Ramsey Clark, who morphed into a dictator-loving nutjob decades ago, will be one of the keynote speakers at a propaganda event this afternoon at the UN Human Rights Council, organized by front groups for Syria’s Assad regime such as the “Union of Arab Jurists.”

Yesterday the UNHRC was the venue for another pro-Assad side event headlined by Alfred de Zayas, a UNHRC official who is a hero to Holocaust deniers, and featuring Curtis Doebbler, a former lawyer for Saddam Hussein who heads the Qaddafi-created “North South XXI” group that has NGO observer credentials at the UN.

The saddest part of the story is that many of these people are befriended and legitimized by elements of the human rights community.

Tripoli Trifecta: Hugo Chavez, Qaddafi & Jean Ziegler

UN adopts resolution to organize Durban III conference

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution this morning that details the program and speakers for its September 22, 2011 summit of world leaders, known as “Durban III,” to commemorate the controversial 2001 Durban Declaration. Notable elements include:

  • Speakers at the high-level meeting will include UN chief Ban Ki-moon and top rights official Navi Pillay, who recently admitted to being “naive” in having downplayed fears in 2009 that the Durban II conference would be manipulated for political ends by Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Also speaking will be South African President Jacob Zuma.
  • The date has changed. The event was previously set for Sept. 21, a day after the opening of the UNGA General Debate. But the latter was moved a day later, and so Durban III followed.
  • The two round-table sessions, co-chaired by two heads of state, will be webcast. This was inserted by the G-77 bloc of developing states to boost the status of the event.
  • Selected NGOs will be invited. One hopes that GONGOs will this time be excluded. The Gadhafi-created group “North-South 21” — a Libyan-funded propaganda vehicle that masquerades as a NGO but which in fact manages the Moammar Gadhafi Human Rights Prize — was a leading player in politicizing Durban I and Durban II.

Six months after Canada announced its non-participation, the U.S. recently said it would also keep away from the September event.

Qaddafi-funded groups rally for UN’s Jean Ziegler

Someone apparently thought that this petition would help the reputation of Jean Ziegler, the UN Human Rights Council official who created, managed and won the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize. How, though, isn’t entirely clear.

The signatories include North South 21 — the Qaddafi-funded organization in Geneva that manages the Qaddafi prize, and which has been closely linked with Ziegler. As the Swiss newspaper NZZ reported in 2006, “North-South 21 had been mandated to manage the Qaddafi Prize for years, as confirmed by Ahmad Soueissi, North-South’s managing director.”

Another signatory, it is no accident, is CETIM, a partner organization of North-South 21 that proudly received the Qaddafi prize, which comes with a reported $250,000 in Libyan funding (see announcement below, from the CETIM website).

In the end, therefore, while the petition claims that Ziegler’s Qaddafi connections are “lies” and a “slanderous smear campaign,” it only ends up substantiating those very connections.

Qaddafi and his UN-accredited “NGO” North-South 21

What do we know about the Geneva-based North South 21, which has UN accreditation as a “non-governmental” organization?

 A series of publicly-available documents show how the Qaddafi regime created the organization in 1989, as part of the Geneva-based committee to award an annual “Moammar Qaddafi Prize for Human Rights.” Radical anti-Western activist Jean Ziegler played a founding role in the inter-linked organizations.

UN Watch detailed all of this in a major 2006 report here, as cooroborated by a front page story by Switzerland’s leading newspaper,  the Neue Zurcher Zeitung. Further details about the Libyans’ open acknowledgment of North South 21 being a part of the Qaddafi Prize organization can be found here. (Supplement to UN Watch’s June 20, 2006 Report, “Switzerland’s Nominee to the UN Human Rights Council and the Moammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize”, containing excerpts from http://www.gaddafiprize.org/ that document Jean Ziegler’s role as a 1989 co-founder of the Khaddafi Prize and its 2002 winner, and confirming the Khaddafi Prize organization’s control over North-South XXI and the North-South Institute, of which Jean Ziegler is vice-president.According to the Libyan press agency, the organization in Geneva that awards the Khaddafi Prize is an entity called North-South XXI (or Nord-Sud XXI). See “President Chavez of Venezuela wins International Gaddafi Award for Human Rights,” Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corporation, December 10, 2004, at http://en.ljbc.net/online/news_details.php?id=475 (see Attachment 7 here); “Oxymoron,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 15 Oktober 2004 (citing Libyan press agency Jana as saying the Prize is awarded by an International People’s Committee and Nord-Sud XXI) (see Attachment 8 here).   Continue reading ‘Qaddafi and his UN-accredited “NGO” North-South 21′

Libyan front group slams U.N. human rights session, sides with Sri Lanka and Non-Aligned bloc

In a speech to the UN Human Rights Council today, the Libyan-sponsored group “Nord Sud 21″, founded in 1989 to manage the Moammar Kaddafi Human Rights Prize, criticized the session on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, echoing the argument of the Sri Lankan government and its allies that only countries “from the region” should be entitled to call a session, and not Western states.

Durban Deception: Libyans Using Front Organization to Subvert NGO Movement

That Libya chairs the Durban II “anti-racism” process, which culminates in the April 20-24, 2009 Durban Review Conference in Geneva, is bad enough. Far more dangerous, however, is Libya’s hidden campaign to subvert the NGO (non-governmental organization) movement, using a Libyan front-organization to instigate an innocent-sounding campaign for a “NGO Forum.”

On its face, nothing could be more desirable for a human rights conference than to have a broad gathering of non-governmental organizations, to allow the world’s unheard voices to speak.  NGOs are often the backbone of whatever positive comes out of the UN human rights system. Which is exactly why repressive regimes often try to stifle them.

Tragically, however, the repressive regimes are even more clever than that. Instead of waging only open battle against the NGO movement, which enjoys a powerful aura of respect in the media and other influential circles, the anti-democratic countries long ago realized that, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

Over the years, they created “GONGOs”, groups that are NGOs in name — with UN accreditation that allows official participation at world conferences — but that are in fact “Government-Operated NGOs.” Cuba, China, and Sudan all have their GONGOs, state-funded and controlled, who show up at UN conferences to spout the respective party lines and deny human rights violations and atrocities.

The objective is for diplomats, non-governmental delegates, and the broader world to believe that the regimes’ propaganda is the legitimate view of idealistic activist groups that represent the people. These groups obviously fail to meet the official UN criteria for NGOs, but get a pass from the highly politicized accreditation process.

This is exactly what is happening now in the preparation for Durban II. One of the groups lobbying hardest for the April conference to feature another “NGO Forum” — just like the event in 2001 that degenerated into an anti-Western, anti-Israel and anti-Semtic hatefest, and which was condemned by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and other leading NGOs — is the Geneva-based “North South 21″ (known in French as “Nord Sud 21″), a Libyan GONGO. Another coalition member is EAFORD, an openly anti-Semitic group, also created in Libya, that, in a September 2008 statement to the UN, accused “Jews everywhere” of “allowing Israel to inflict [a Holocaust] on the Palestinian people.”

To spell it out: What we have here is a Libyan-led “NGO” campaign demanding a NGO Forum from the Libyan-led governmental committee planning the conference. Qaddafi has the whole world over a barrel. It’s the greatest scam since the invention of three card monte.

Click on http://nordsud21.ch/durban.htm to see North South 21’s dedicated webpage for promoting a repeat of the 2001 hatefest, all in the supposed name of the legitimate NGO movement. Joining it are a motley group of radical anti-Israel and anti-Western organization, knowing enablers, and naive fellow travelers in the anti-racism cause.

HOW LIBYAN REGIME CONTROLS GONGO “NORTH SOUTH 21″  

What do we know about North South 21?

 A series of publicly-available documents show how the Qaddafi regime created the organization in 1989, as part of the Geneva-based committee to award an annual “Moammar Qaddafi Prize for Human Rights.” Radical anti-Western activist Jean Ziegler played a founding role in the inter-linked organizations.

UN Watch detailed all of this in a major 1996 report here, as cooroborated by a front page story by Switzerland’s leading newspaper,  the Neue Zurcher Zeitung. Further details about the Libyans’ open acknowledgment of North South 21 being a part of the Qaddafi Prize organization can be found here. (Supplement to UN Watch’s June 20, 2006 Report, “Switzerland’s Nominee to the UN Human Rights Council and the Moammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize”, containing excerpts from http://www.gaddafiprize.org/ that document Jean Ziegler’s role as a 1989 co-founder of the Khaddafi Prize and its 2002 winner, and confirming the Khaddafi Prize organization’s control over North-South XXI and the North-South Institute, of which Jean Ziegler is vice-president.According to the Libyan press agency, the organization in Geneva that awards the Khaddafi Prize is an entity called North-South XXI (or Nord-Sud XXI). See “President Chavez of Venezuela wins International Gaddafi Award for Human Rights,” Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corporation, December 10, 2004, at http://en.ljbc.net/online/news_details.php?id=475 (see Attachment 7 here); “Oxymoron,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 15 Oktober 2004 (citing Libyan press agency Jana as saying the Prize is awarded by an International People’s Committee and Nord-Sud XXI) (see Attachment 8 here).  

The British press has also reported North-South XXI’s role in awarding the Prize. See “Gaddafi human rights prize for two dock strike wives,” The Daily Mail (London), September 4, 1997 (stating that Prize “[r]ecipients are chosen annually by a Geneva-based organisation called Nord-Sud 21.”) (see Attachment 9 here).

Even Geneva’s left-wing daily Le Temps, which is generally avoids criticizing Geneva’s UN industry, said this about North South 21, in an August 30, 2002 article:

The Kadhafi Prize [for Human Rights] is managed in Geneva by North-South 21, which claims to be an organization for the defense of human rights. . . . It is worth noting that North-South 21 does not want to mention the financial investment of Tripoli in the Geneva center. The organization issues many periodicals and other publications but none mentions the name of the provider of funds.  (Le Prix Kadhafi est géré à Genève par Nord-Sud 21 qui se veut une organisation de défense des droits de l’homme… Force est de constater que Nord-Sud 21 ne veut pas évoquer l’investissement financier de Tripoli dans le centre genevois. L’organisation dispose de plusieurs périodiques et autre publications à thème mais aucun ne mentionne le nom du bailleur de fonds.)

See “Un deuxième spectacle autour du Prix Kadhafi,” Le Temps, 30 août 2000 (see Attachment 10 here).  See also “Les Noirs demandent réparation pour l’esclavage,” Le Temps, 7 août 2001 (describing North-South XXI as “an NGO installed in Geneva and tied to Libya” and discussing a symposium “ordered and financed by Libya through North-South XXI.”) (see Attachment 11 here).

While all of the facts are out there, Geneva UN circles tend to pretend that North South 21 is a legitimate group instead of a Libyan GONGO.

FURTHER DETAILS CONNECTING LIBYA, NORTH SOUTH 21, AND JEAN ZIEGLER

A past winner also has attributed the Prize to North-South XXI.  See Website of Union interafricaine des Droits de l’Homme (UIDH), at http://www.iuhr.org/article.php3?&id_article=105 (noting that it won the Khaddafi Prize at the “proposal of the NGO North-South XXI.”).  Indeed, in a posting on the Human Rights Internet website, UIDH used the fact that the Khaddafi Prize is granted by a northern NGO, based in Geneva with ECOSOC status, to argue against those who criticized it for accepting Libyan money.  See http://www.hri.ca/partners/uidh/persp/budget.html (describing how, after UIDH won the Prize, many of its partner institutions stopped funding it because of the Libya affiliation, and arguing that this was incorrect in light of the Prize being awarded by a Northern, Geneva-based, UN-accredited NGO).

Like the Khaddafi Prize, North-South XXI was founded in 1989. In addition to awarding the Prize, North-South XXI organizes seminars and colloquia (many of which have been held in Tripoli) and issues a periodic journal of the same name. North-South XXI has special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which allows it to participate at UN sessions. It has argued before UN bodies against the international sanctions on Libya, without ever disclosing its connections to the Khaddafi regime. See Written Statement of North-South XXI to the Commission on Human Rights, 55th Session (E/CN.4/1999/NGO/40) (arguing against sanctions in general and against the sanctions on Libya in particular); Written Statement of North-South XXI to the Commission on Human Rights, 54th Session (E/CN.4/1998/NGO/83) (arguing that sanctions against Libya violate children’s rights).

North-South XXI is located in Geneva at rue Ferdinand-Hodler, number 17. Its director is Ahmad Soueissi, and its chairman is Ahmed Ben Bella. Mr. Ben Bella and Mr. Soueissi are also chairman and secretary, respectively, of a similarly-named organization at the same address: the Institut Nord-Sud pour le dialogue intercultural. The vice-chairman of the Institut Nord-Sud, according to official records of the canton of Geneva, is Jean Ziegler.  See Entry for Institut Nord-Sud pour le dialogue interculturel, Registre du commerce de Genève, at http://rc.geneve.ch/rc/consultation/consultationcomplete.asp?no_dossier_fed=CH-660-1684998-3 (see Attachment 14 here).

Several websites identify the Institut as the source of the North-South XXI journal, and one describes it as “presided over by Jean Ziegler.” See “Le Monde Diplomatique, Revues,” at http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/revues/nordsud; Philippe Corcuff, Liste des publications, at http://www.cerlis.fr/pagesperso/permanents/corcuffphilippepubli.htm (listing one article as follows: “Avec Éric Doidy et Domar Idrissi, “S’émanciper des langues de bois : originalité du langage zapatiste”, dans Club Merleau-Ponty, La pensée confisquée – Quinze idées reçues qui bloquent le débat public, 1997, Paris : La Découverte; réédité en 2001, Nord-Sud XXI (Institut Nord-Sud pour le dialogue interculturel, Genève), n°16 (4)”).

The Institut Nord-Sud is managed and financed by the Fondation Nord-Sud pour le dialogue interculturel. See Entry for Fondation Nord Sud pour le dialogue interculturel, Registre du commerce de Genève, at http://rc.geneve.ch/rc/consultation/consultationcomplete.asp?no_dossier_fed=CH-660-1881999-1 (see Attachment 15 here).

The Fondation have the same street address as North-South XXI and the Institut. The Fondation’s address in the Geneva registry of commerce is in care of a Geneva fiduciary society.  However, an entity called the Nord-Sud Fondation, http://www.nordsud-dialogue.org/, is also found at rue Ferdinand-Hodler 17, and has the same phone number, fax number, email address, and director as North-South XXI (see Attachment 16 here).

The officers of the Fondation are the same as of the Institute: Mr. Ben Bella, chairman; Mr. Ziegler, vice-chairman; and Mr. Soueissi, secretary. See also Entry for Fondation Nord Sud pour le dialogue interculturel, Registre du commerce de Genève, at at http://rc.geneve.ch/rc/consultation/consultationcomplete.asp?no_dossier_fed=CH-660-1881999-1 (see Attachment 15 here).�

Libyan GONGO “North South 21″ Asks Libyan Chair of Durban II for “NGO Forum”

Libyan GONGO North South 21 — a “Government Operated NGO”, or front organization — helped organize a joint letter to the Libyan head of the Durban II planning committee, demanding the UN allocate space for a “NGO Forum” adjacent to the conference, as well as funding to fly in activists from around the world, and castigated UN officials who dared to disagree. North South 21 hosts the letter on its dedicated website page lobbying for the NGO Forum. See full text below.

LETTER BY LIBYAN FRONT ORGANIZATION NORTH SOUTH 21 AND ALLIES

Source: http://nordsud21.ch/08-05-23%20NGO%20Letter%20to%20Chair%20of%20Prep%20Com.pdf

SIGN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE DURBAN REVIEW
CONFERENCE AND NGO PARTICIPATION

Geneva, Switzerland, 26 May 2008
H.E. Najat Al-Hajjaji
Chairperson of the Preparatory Committee of the Durban Review
Conference

Dear Mme Chairperson,

We are writing this letter to convey through you, to the Members of the Preparatory Committee, our strong desire as Non-Governmental Organizations and anti-racist movements to contribute to the successful preparations for the Durban Review Conference in 2009.
We believe that given the upsurge in racist practices in different parts of the world and the little attention given to the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action since its adoption, this Review Conference is greatly needed and must be given maximum support. In order for the Durban Review Conference to succeed, a dynamic partnership is needed between the UN, Governments and civil society in support of the Conference s aims and objectives. We wish to emphasize that strong mobilization of Non-Governmental Organizations and the holding of an NGO Forum have been an indispensable part of every major UN conference or special session since the landmark Stockholm Environment Conference in 1972.

Also at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, the NGO Forum was an important catalyst for many victim groups to come together, network, interact and build support for the work against racism and discrimination. We are deeply concerned over the failure by the Conference Secretariat
to provide timely information and invitations to NGOs to participate in the meetings of the Preparatory Committee despite the unequivocal decisions taken by the Preparatory Committee that NGOs accredited to the World Conference Against Racism shall be invited. We are equally concerned
over recent remarks by representatives of the UN Secretariat which tend to discourage the holding of an NGO Forum at the Review Conference, contrary to UN tradition.

We strongly believe in the necessity of a vigorous public mobilization effort for the Durban Review Conference. This includes efforts by Non-Governmental Organizations, victim groups and anti-racist
movements who must receive the full support of both the Preparatory Committee and the United Nations Secretariat, in particular the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In the view of the undersigned it is necessary that a positive decision is taken to enable civil society to fully contribute to a successful Durban Review Process and that financial resource are allocated to support the holding of an NGO Forum in the immediate vicinity of the official Conference site.

Signed by (in chronological order):
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN)
Interfaith International
Comite International pour le Respect et l’Application de la
Charte Africaine des Droits de l Homme et des Peuples (CIRAC)
Action Internationale Paix et Developpment Grands Lacs (AIPD-GLJ)
December 12th Movement
The Aldet Centre, Saint Lucia
African Canadian Legal Clinic
North-South XXI
IUS Primi Viri
Indian Movement Tupa Amaru
World Peace Council
International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination (EAFORD)
Mouvement Socio-cultural pour le development des
Mbororo (MBOSCUDA)
Global Rights
Agence des cites pour la cooperation Nord-Sud
Comission Africaine des Promoteurs a le Sante des droits de l’Homme (CAPSDH)
Espacio Afroamericano International
Culture of Afroindigenous Solidarity
Swedish Centre Against Racism Afro-Swedish National Association
National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA)
Guinee Development (GUIDE)
Mouvement de la Paix (France)
Chinese Canadian National Council
National Anti-Racism Council of Canada
Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
OCAPPROCE
International Coordination des ONG Africaines des droit de l’Homme (CONGAF)
Academie africaine pour la Paix (ACAP)
Urban Alliance on Race Relations
South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
Espacio Afroamericano
Swedish-Somali Institute
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Zimbabwe Exiles Forum
Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Legal Resources Centre
Wendy Isaack
MISASWD
FIDA-UGANDA
Kituo Chakatiba
CLC-SOUTH AFRICA
Citizens Governance Initiatives
SAIFAC
WILDAF
Ehahrdp/net
Alliances for Africa
NCC, National Counseling Centre
Center for Minority Rights Development
Women of Law Association
ASADHO/DRC
Foundation for Human Rights Initiative
FHRI Africa Leadership and Governance Institute
NOON Center for Legal Consultation and Human Rights.