Archive for the 'Syria' Category

Peace Now legitimizes Assad at dictator-run UN parley

Assad smile

Israel’s Peace Now, represented by campaigns manager Yaniv Shacham, delivered a speech today at an international conference in Quito, Ecuador, that claims to be about peace, but which is in fact organized by a rabidly anti-Israel UN committee dominated by Syria’s Assad regime and other like-minded murderous, misogynistic and homophobic dictatorships.

Is Peace Now unaware that this latest “UN International Meeting on the Question of Palestine,” taking place today and tomorrow under the innocuous-sounding theme of “Engaging for peace – the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” is run by the UN’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, whose member and observer states include the mass-murdering Syrian Arab Republic, slave-holding Mauritania, women-hating Saudi Arabia, along with tyrannies large and small such as China, Belarus, Cuba, Algeria and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic?

Is Peace Now unaware that its host committee was established in 1975 on the same day as the infamous Zionism is Racism resolution, which Kofi Annan has described as the low point of the UN’s record on anti-Semitism? That it promotes organizations like the one headed by notorious anti-Semite Mahathir Mohamad?

Is Peace Now unaware that its host committee’s year-round reports, meetings, conferences, and publications incite to hatred against Israel? That while claiming to care about human rights, its host has never once condemned the murder of Israeli civilians by rockets, bus bombings or stabbings, and instead legitimizes violence and terrorism?

Why is Peace Now legitimizing a poisonous propaganda exercise run by a syndicate of murderers and rapists?

Full text: UN Security Council Resolution 2139

unsc photo

 

UN Watch welcomes the unanimous adoption today of a UNSC resolution strongly condemning human rights violations in Syria, particularly those committed by the Syrian regime. The full text is provided below.

————–

UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 2139
(SYRIA – HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE)

UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL
22 February 2014

The Security Council

Recalling its resolutions 2042 (2012)2043 (2012) and 2118 (2013), and its Presidential Statements of 3 August 2011, 21 March 2012, 5 April 2012 and 2 October 2013,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Being appalled at the unacceptable and escalating level of violence and the death of well over 100,000 people in Syria, including over 10,000 children, as reported by the UN Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict,

Expressing grave alarm at the significant and rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria, in particular the dire situation of hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in besieged areas, most of whom are besieged by the Syrian armed forces and some by opposition groups, as well as the dire situation of over 3 million people in hard-to-reach areas, and deploring the difficulties in providing, and the failure to provide, access for the humanitarian assistance to all civilians in need inside Syria,

Emphasizing the need to respect the UN guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance and stressing the importance of such assistance being delivered on the basis of need, devoid of any political prejudices and aims, commending the efforts of the United Nations and all humanitarian and medical personnel in Syria and in neighbouring countries, and condemning all acts or threats of violence against United Nations staff and humanitarian actors, which have resulted in the death, injury and detention of many humanitarian personnel, Continue reading ‘Full text: UN Security Council Resolution 2139′

UN: Syria gassed own people — and now Israel must send Syria more people

Chemical weapons used:
UN statement.

Give Assad more people:
First resolution on Golan
Second resolution on Golan

Texts of draft UNGA resolutions on Iran, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar

Following are the full texts of the draft resolutions on human rights situations that are to be voted on later this month by the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee:
  1. A/C.3/68/L.42 – Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic
  2. A/C.3/68/L.55 - Situation of human rights in Myanmar
  3. A/C.3/68/L.56 – Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  4. A/C.3/68/L.57 – Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

U.N. rights council ignores Syria, focuses on Kiribati & Tuvalu

Testimony by UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer delivered before the UN Human Rights Council, September 11, 2013, during interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteurs.

I thank the Special Rapporteur on safe drinking water for her reports on Kiribati and Tuvalu, whose challenges are worthy of international support.

Madam Rapporteur, we would like to ask if you would also be prepared to examine the humanitarian catastrophe now taking place in Syria.

According to UNICEF, 10 million people — close to half the population — lack secure access to safe water. Supplies of chlorine have fallen dangerously low, increasing tap water contamination. Access to sanitation and hygiene is deteriorating, threatening the health of much of the population.

Madam Rapporteur, UNICEF also reports that children are at particular risk of contracting diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases.  Power cuts, fuel shortages and damage to infrastructure cause worsening water shortages. In al-Qusayr, water was completely cut off in April when pro-government Hezbollah fighters took control of the local water plant.

Madam Rapporteur, as the expert on the Right to Water and Sanitation, is there any reason why the devastating water crisis in Syria is not in your report this year, nor in any of your previous reports? Have you requested to visit Syria, or nearby countries to hear testimony from refugees?

I see on your UN website that in the past few years you have issued 54 statements. Of these, only one dealt with Syria — a joint statement from two and a half years ago, which you signed with 6 other experts.

Madam Rapporteur, we appreciate your reports on the islands of Kiribati and Tuvalu. At the same time, one cannot help but note that the island of Kiribati has one of the smallest populations in the world —100,000 people. Tuvalu has even less: a total population of 10,000.

By any measure, Madam Rapporteur, these are among the tiniest places on the faces of the earth.

I therefore wish to ask you: by what logic and methodology should we be devoting the scarce and limited time and attention of this world body to the climate change challenges of Kiribati and Tuvalu—genuine and important as they are—instead of the life-and-death humanitarian crisis that is affecting the water, sanitation and health of millions of victims across Syria, and of millions of Syrian refugees in surrounding countries?

Three years into the massacre of over 100,000 people, why is it that we have heard only a handful of statements on Syria by all of this council’s human rights experts?

Three weeks after more than 1,000 people were gassed to death in Damascus, including 400 children, why has this Human Rights Council refused to convene a single emergency session or debate?

Will the Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances, from whom we just heard, consider addressing Syria’s stockpile of Sarin gas?

I don’t say this council is doing nothing. I know there will be a discussion on Monday, which was scheduled months ago. But where is the sense of urgency? Where is the outrage?

Thank you, Mr. President.

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.

The UN Rights Council on Syria: Apathy, Banality and Triteness

Testimony before the United Nations Human Rights Council, delivered by UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer on 10 September 2013.

Madam President,

The purpose of this council is to protect human rights victims and respond to urgent situations.

Yet as we meet here today, three weeks have passed since Syria gassed to death hundreds of its own men, women, and children — and still the council closes its eyes, refusing our call for an emergency session.

The world deserves to know: Are innocent civilians attacked by their own government with chemical weapons not human rights victims? Is the most horrific crime of the 21st century not an urgent situation? Continue reading ‘The UN Rights Council on Syria: Apathy, Banality and Triteness’

UN Resolution Mentions Syria 15 Times – to Condemn Israel

The UN’s Economic and Social Council today adopted a resolution on human rights and humanitarian law that mentioned Syria 15 times. Except that Syria’s government was nowhere mentioned or criticized. The resolution was against Israel.

A review of the resolutions list of ECOSOC’s current 2013 annual session shows that Israel was the only country in the world to be the object of a condemnatory resolution — gross abusers like Syria, North Korea, Iran, Egypt, China, Russia, Cuba and Saudi Arabia were all given a free pass . (The only other resolution focused on a specific country concerned Haiti, but this was a non-critical text about foreign aid co-sponsored by Haiti itself.)

Only the US and Canada opposed the resolution, which was adopted 43 to 2, with 1 abstention (Haiti).

In his speech before the vote, the Palestinian delegate alleged “racism and colonization,” saying that “occupation is the ugliest form of racism and terrorism,” and “the State of Israel is a state of terror, settlers are terror, military are terror.”

Syria for its part accused Israel of “stealing historical artifacts to lie about [the] history” of the Golan, and “imposing Hebrew on students.”

Sadly, ECOSOC’s session was once again counter-productive, pushing the parties further apart instead of bridging their differences, damaging the UN’s credibility, and making it party to the conflict instead of a neutral mediator.

Urgent Debate on Syria at the Human Rights Council

Today, the UN Human Rights Council met to discuss the recent atrocities in Syria. The “Urgent debate on Human Rights in the Syrian Arab Republic” stood out as one of the first times that Hezbollah was condemned for the bloodshed in Syria. In fact, the United States specifically condemned Hezbollah’s role in the massacre, while Australia expressed concern for Hezbollah’s recent involvement, and Canada stated that Hezbollah plays a destructive role in a campaign of violence. Overwhelmingly, many states, including the European Union urged the Security Council to refer the case to the International Criminal Court, while virtually all states called for a political, rather than military, solution.

However, not all countries were so adamant about attributing Syria’s ongoing violence to Hezbollah, or the Assad regime. Syria itself resorted to finger pointing and denial when attempting to shift the blame away from themselves, while Russia, Cuba, Ecuador, China, Iran, and North Korea, among others, denounced the ongoing debate. Continue reading ‘Urgent Debate on Syria at the Human Rights Council’

Hypocrisy: Syria & UN Health Assembly Slam Israel

GENEVA, May 23 – The annual assembly of the UN’s World Health Organization adopted its only country-specific  resolution yesterday by condemning Israel, and ordering “health-related technical assistance” to “the Syrian population in the occupied Syrian Golan” — yet said nothing about the Syrian population being slaughtered in Syria. See the vote count at bottom.

In a written statement featured on yesterday’s WHO agenda, Syria demanded urgent action on “inhuman Israeli practices” that target “the health of Syrian citizens.” Click here for documents.

Observers of the world body in Geneva said the annual hypocrisy reached a new low this year.

“To see the Assad regime point the finger at Israel out of professed concern for the health of Syrians is, frankly, a sick joke,” said Hillel Neuer, exectuive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a non-governmental monitoring group accredited to the UN.

“They’ve slaughtered 80,000 of their own people, and are now busy destroying the lives of millions more. The real question is this: Why is the UN allowing mass murderers to deflect attention from their crimes by scapegoating democracies?”

“A world health assembly should be about Hippocrates, not hypocrisy,” said Neuer. Continue reading ‘Hypocrisy: Syria & UN Health Assembly Slam Israel’

UN Health Assembly: Israel a Virus, Syria Immune

GENEVA, May 22 – The annual assembly of the UN’s World Health Organization adopted its only country-specific resolution yesterday by condemning Israel, and ordering “health-related technical assistance” to “the Syrian population in the occupied Syrian Golan” — yet said nothing about the Syrian population being slaughtered in Syria. See the vote count at bottom.

The condemnation came after a special debate that criticized Israel for the health situation “in the occupied Palestinian territories and occupied Syrian Golan,” yet turned a blind eye to the bloodbath in Syria that has already killed 80,000 and afflicted the health situation of millions.

Of the 25 items on the agenda of the annual Geneva assembly of the World Health Organization, all but one address global themes such as diseases, health regulations, and pandemics.

The exception, Item No. 20, turns a spotlight on one specific country: Israel. No other country in the world — not Mexico, Russia, Sudan, or anywhere else — is treated this way. Continue reading ‘UN Health Assembly: Israel a Virus, Syria Immune’

Syria accuses Israel of treating its wounded victims, in UN Security Council debate

And now Israel is blamed for treating the injured:

We cannot also forget the Israeli partnership with the Salafi, Takfiri and terrorist groups, and allowing those groups to cross the separation line in occupied Syrian Golan, and treating their wounded in Israeli hospitals.

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari at the UN Security Council April 18 2013; video here at minute 53:40.

Rwandan genocide commemorated, Who is taking care of the Syrian people?

This week the UN commemorates the horrific Rwandan Genocide. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message is clear: “Collectively, we must go beyond words and effectively safeguard people at risk.”  Furthermore, he took the opportunity to commend the “all too few” who defended their fellow humans.  Which begs the question, who is defending the Syrian people?

Continue reading ‘Rwandan genocide commemorated, Who is taking care of the Syrian people?’

Syria Trumpets UN Election to Senior Post

Ban Ki-moon was silent at meeting that named Assad Rapporteur of Decolonization Committee

GENEVA, February 26, 2013 – UN Watch today called on Ban Ki-moon, US Ambassador Susan Rice and EU representatives to condemn the world body’s “revolting and absurd” decision to unanimously re-elect the Assad regime to a senior post on a decolonization committee charged with upholding fundamental human rights in opposing the “subjugation, domination and exploitation” of peoples — a propaganda victory now being trumpeted by Syria’s state-funded SANA news agency.

“It is incomprehensible for the UN to say that Syria has killed at least 70,000 of its own people and to then hand this gift of false legitimacy to the mass murderer Bashar al-Assad,” said Hillel Neuer, director of the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch.

“The UN is helping the Assad regime portray itself a U.N. human rights arbiter. That’s indefensible, and an insult to Syria’s victims,” said Neuer. Continue reading ‘Syria Trumpets UN Election to Senior Post’

UNESCO booklet still lists Assad’s Syria as human rights judge

If a government has violated your freedom of speech, opinion, thought, conscience, assembly or association, you can file a complaint with the human rights committee of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

There’s only one catch, as indicated in this recent UNESCO booklet: one of the judges deciding your case will be the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Continue reading ‘UNESCO booklet still lists Assad’s Syria as human rights judge’

Assad tells U.N. he cares about suffering of people in Golan, while killing thousands of Syrian civilians

As more than 27,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict in Syria, the Human Rights Council has tasked the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on Israeli violations in the Golan.

In its submission to the OHCHR, the Assad regime claims that “in order to guarantee sustainable stability and security in the Middle East region, adequate measures must be taken to ensure the implementation of all relevant international resolutions, including Human Rights Council resolutions, without discrimination or selectivity.” But of course, the blame for the lack of stability and security has to be put on Israel and not on its own abuses and disrespect of human rights treaties.

According to the Assad regime, Israel is to blame for protecting its border, when Syria provocatively sent busloads of “protesters,” past Syrian and U.N. outposts, right to the front lines, undisturbed by the Syrian authorities present.

  • “Israeli occupation forces carried out a brutal massacre in which they fired live bullets at peaceful unarmed protesters (Syrians and Palestinians) on the Syrian side of the ceasefire line in the occupied Syrian Golan, resulting in 23 dead and 350 injured.”
  • “Israeli occupation forces committed a similar crime in which they used live ammunition to disperse peaceful protesters, leading to 15 deaths and scores of injuries.”
  • “The decision of the Israeli Government, in June 2011, to build an apartheid separation wall in the occupied Syrian Golan, east of Majdal al-Shams, on the pretext of preventing Palestinians and Syrians from crossing the ceasefire line and reaching the occupied town of Majdal al-Shams.”

 

Continue reading ‘Assad tells U.N. he cares about suffering of people in Golan, while killing thousands of Syrian civilians’

OIC suspension of Syria sparks renewed call to expel Assad from U.N. human rights committee

U.S. & Britain must uphold pledge to demand UNESCO expulsion of Assad regime

Rights group: “Syria’s membership is a lingering stainupon the reputation of the U.N. as a whole”

GENEVA, Aug. 16 – Yesterday’s suspension of Syria from the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation creates a new window of opportunity for a top U.N. human rights committee to cancel its “shameful” November election of the Bashar al-Assad regime, said UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights organization which heads a campaign of 55 parliamentarians, human rights and religious groups calling for Syria’s expulsion.

“Now that both the OIC and the Arab League have suspended Syria, there is no longer any excuse — neither morally or politically — for UNESCO to insist on keeping Bashar al-Assad’s regime on its human rights committee, which is mandated to help victims worldwide. It’s time for UNESCO to stop legitimizing a government that mercilessly murders its own people,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. Continue reading ‘OIC suspension of Syria sparks renewed call to expel Assad from U.N. human rights committee’

Syrians slaughtered, but U.N. too busy condemning Israel 3 times

As Syrians continue to be slaughtered, the U.N. is once again too busy condemning Israel to respond to those pleading for help in Aleppo and elsewhere.

The world body’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the principal organ under the U.N. Charter tasked with addressing human rights and fundamental freedoms, has just concluded its annual session by turning a blind eye to the ongoing massacres by the Assad regime. Instead,  a list of all its resolutions for the entire world shows that ECOSOC condemned only one single country: Israel. Two resolutions were adopted against Israel, and one report.

Continue reading ‘Syrians slaughtered, but U.N. too busy condemning Israel 3 times’

The Guardian’s Ian Williams Lobbied for Bashar al-Assad’s Syria to Join UN Security Council

How is it that the Assad regime, led by father and son, was able to retain the international legitimacy needed to retain power over 42 years, despite perpetrating systematic brutality, such as the killing of an estimated 20,000 citizens of Hama in February 1982, and being listed as a leading state sponsor of terrorism?

A key factor was that the world body mandated to hold such criminal regimes to account — the United Nations — turned a blind eye to Syrian murder, massacre and terror. Continue reading ‘The Guardian’s Ian Williams Lobbied for Bashar al-Assad’s Syria to Join UN Security Council’

Full text: Action Group for Syria – Final Communiqué

Action Group for Syria – Final Communiqué
30 June 2012

1. On 30 June 2012, the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, Turkey, Iraq (Chair of the Summit of the League of Arab States), Kuwait (Chair of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the League of Arab States) and Qatar (Chair of the Arab Follow-up Committee on Syria of the League of Arab States), and the European Union High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy met at the United Nations Office at Geneva as the Action Group for Syria, chaired by the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria.

2. Action Group members came together out of grave alarm at the situation in Syria. They strongly condemn the continued and escalating killing, destruction and human rights abuses. They are deeply concerned at the failure to protect civilians, the intensification of the violence, the potential for even deeper conflict in the country, and the regional dimensions of the problem. The unacceptable nature and magnitude of the crisis demands a common position and joint international action. Continue reading ‘Full text: Action Group for Syria – Final Communiqué’

Victim’s U.N. testimony: Dream of a better Syria became a nightmare

UN Watch speech delivered by Syrian exile Ahed Alhendi
at U.N. Human Rights Council debate on Syria, June 27, 2012

Thank you, Madam President.

This chamber just heard from one Syrian—a representative of President Assad’s government—who said his country protects human rights.

I am here today, speaking on behalf of UN Watch, for the world to hear another Syrian—one who was arrested and tortured by this government.

My name is Ahed Alhendi, and I am a Syrian human rights activist and blogger. Continue reading ‘Victim’s U.N. testimony: Dream of a better Syria became a nightmare’

Why UN peacekeepers suspended Syria mission

A day after this was posted, 36 have retweeted:

Final resolution on Syria as adopted at UN emergency session

Following is the final version of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on the massacre in Syria, adopted today at an emergency session. The vote was 41 in favor, 3 against (Russia, China, Cuba), 2 abstain (Ecuador, Uganda), and Philippines absent.
Human Rights Council
Nineteenth special session
1 June 2012
Djibouti, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey*, United States of America: draft resolution
S-19/… The deteriorating situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the recent killings in El-Houleh
The Human Rights Council,
Recalling General Assembly resolutions 66/176 of 19 December 2011 and 66/253 of 16 February 2012, Human Rights Council resolutions S-16/1 of 29 April 2011, S-17/1 of 22 August 2011, S-18/1 of 2 December 2011, 19/1 of 1 March 2012 and 19/22 of 23 March 2012, and Security Council resolutions 2042 (2012)  of 14 April 2012 and 2043 (2012) of 21 April 2012,
Condemning the killings, confirmed by United Nations observers, of dozens of men, women and children and the wounding of hundreds more in the village of El-Houleh, near Homs, in attacks that involved the wanton killing of civilians by shooting at close range and by severe physical abuse by pro-regime elements and a series of Government artillery and tank shellings of a residential neighbourhood, and reiterating that all violence in all its forms by all parties must cease,
Recalling that the statement made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 27 May 2012 that the atrocities in El-Houleh may amount to crimes against humanity and noting her repeated encouragement to the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court,
Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

55 NGOs & MPs: UN must expel Syria from human rights committee

* French President Francois Hollande said Assad’s envoy would be expelled — but in fact Lamia Shakkour stays in Paris as rep to UNESCO human rights committee

* 20-year-old woman abused by Syrian forces, about to address today’s UN emergency session (full speech below)

GENEVA, June 1 – Today’s UN Human Rights Council emergency session on Syria should call for a reversal of the recent election of the Assad regime to a UN human rights committee, a Geneva-based human rights organization will tell the 47-nation body this afternoon on behalf of 55 NGOs and MPs, in a speech to be delivered by 20-year-old student Hadil Kouki, a Syrian torture victim and recent exile. (SEE HER UN SPEECH BELOW)

News reports this week cited French President Hollande announcing the expulsion of Syrian ambassador Lammia Shakkour — but in fact she will stay put as Assad’s representative to the Paris-based UNESCO’s human rights committee. Continue reading ’55 NGOs & MPs: UN must expel Syria from human rights committee’

Text of draft UN resolution for tomorrow’s emergency session on Syrian massacre

UN Watch has obtained a copy of the draft resolution being circulated for tomorrow’s UN Human Rights Council emergency session on the massacre in Syria:

Draft Resolution on the human rights situation in Syria and the recent killings in El-Houleh

30 May 2012

Recalling General Assembly resolutions 66/176 of 19 December 2011 and 66/253 of 16 February 2012, as well as Human Rights Council resolutions S-16/1 of 29 April 2011, S-17/1 of 22 August 2011, S-18/1 of 2 December 2011, 19/1 of 1 March 2012 and 19/22 of … and Security Council resolutions 2042 (2012) and 2043 (2012),

Deploring the killings, confirmed by United Nations observers, of dozens of men, women and children and the wounding of hundreds more in the village of El-Houleh, near Homs, in attacks that involved a series of Government artillery and tank shellings of a residential neighborhood,

1. Condemns in the strongest possible terms such an outrageous use of force against the civilian population which constitutes a violation of applicable international law and of the commitment of the Syrian Government under the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2042 (2012)  and 2043 (2012) to cease violence in all its forms, including the cessation of use of heavy weapons in population centres; Continue reading ‘Text of draft UN resolution for tomorrow’s emergency session on Syrian massacre’

UN health body ignores Syrians, unless they live in the Golan

The annual World Health Assemby met in Geneva last week to assess the world’s health situation, adopt measures and exchange best practices. As is customary with all UN bodies, only one resolution was adopted against a particular country and that country was Israel.

With a vote of 56 in favor, 6 against (Israel, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Micronesia) and 48 abstantions (including all of the EU), the WHA adopted a resolution on “the  health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”

Of course, there was no resolution on any other health emergency around the world, let alone in Syria, where dozens of innocent civilians are brutally murdered and denied basic healthcare every day for many months now. Unless of course, they live in the Golan, where Israel can be blamed.

Committee Against Torture Convenes Extraordinary Meeting on Situation in Syria

During its 48th session, which is currently meeting in Geneva, the Committee Against Torture convened an extraordinary meeting on the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic.  Syria did not send a delegation to the session.

The Chairman of the Committee acting as Co-Rapporteur for Syria, Mr. Claudio Grossman, explained the reasons for this meeting: the severe situation in Syria with widespread violations of the Convention against Torture; Syria’s failure to provide sufficient information in its previous reports; and realizing the committee’s responsibility of achieving greater compliance of State parties with the obligations of the Convention. Pursuant to article 19 of the Convention, the Committee had requested Syria, “to provide additional information in a special report which will indicate the measures it had taken to ensure its obligations under the Convention are effectively implemented; the measures it has taken to implement the recommendations of the Committee’s concluding observations from Syria’s previous review on May 2010; and information about the current situation.”

To the regret of the Committee members, though Syria declared that it is prepared to fully cooperate with the Committee, it failed once again to provide substantial responses to the committee’s requests and it did not send a delegation. Instead, Syria denied the allegations of widespread use of torture and violations of the convention, noting that they are merely unfounded allegations, and focused on a procedural claim pursuant to which Article 19 of the Convention does not allow for such inquiries by the Committee. Continue reading ‘Committee Against Torture Convenes Extraordinary Meeting on Situation in Syria’

As much of the world starves, UN sends hunger probe to… Canada

The National Post (Canada)
May 5, 2012, p. A20
EDITORIALS

By Hillel Neuer

Olivier De Schutter is the UN Human Rights Council’s “Special Rapporteur on the right to food,” a post initiated by Cuba. Tomorrow he begins an 11-day investigation of Canada.
De Schutter’s senior adviser, Priscilla Claeys, previously worked with Oxfam Canada, part of the group that is unofficially coordinating his visit, and with Rights and Democracy—a Canadian agency soon to be shut down—where she collaborated with the UN office of Jean Ziegler, co-founder of the “Muammar Qaddafi Human RIghts Prize” and De Schutter’s predecessor.

“There is no food and no clean water, nothing,” Mahmoud, a 12-year-old boy from Homs, Syria, told Reuters Thursday. “There is no shop open and we only have one meal a day. How can we live like that and survive?”

According to the World Food Program, half a million people don’t have enough to eat in Syria. Fears are growing that the regime is using hunger as a weapon.

This is the kind of emergency which should attract the attention of the UN Human Rights Council’s hunger monitor, who has the ability to spotlight situations and place them on the world agenda. Yet Olivier de Schutter of Belgium, the “Special Rapporteur on the right to food,” is not going to Syria.

Instead, the UN’s food monitor is coming to investigate Canada. Continue reading ‘As much of the world starves, UN sends hunger probe to… Canada’

UN Syria investigator Erturk gives conflicting accounts for resignation

According to Reuters,  Yakin Erturk  has just resigned from the UN’s Commission of Inquiry on Syria “in protest at the Syrian government’s refusal to allow them into the country.” The Turkish sociologist and long-time UN official said that “the commission cannot do comprehensive work and investigate (certain) areas because of no access, so I decided not to continue.”

The odd thing, however, is that only two weeks ago, Erturk gave a very different story. In a letter to the president of the UN Human Rights Council, which oversees the recently-renewed inquiry, Erturk gave notice that “should the mandate of the Commission be extended beyond 23 March 2012, I will not be able to continue my functions due to previous professional commitments.” (Emphasis added.)

Scandal: UNESCO vote keeps Assad regime on human rights committee

Despite US-led bid to expel Syria, UNESCO voted 35-8 for watered-down resolution, allowing Syria to stay on human rights panel

GENEVA, March 8, 2012 – The UN’s education, science and culture organization has just voted 35 to 8 for a resolution that condemns Assad for abuses, yet — despite vigorous efforts led by the U.S. — keeps the regime on its human rights committee. Click here for resolution; here for U.S. statement.

“For UNESCO to keep President Bashar al-Assad on a human rights committee while his regime mercilessly murders its own people is immoral, indefensible and an insult to Syria’s victims,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, the Geneva human rights group that heads a campaign of 55 parliamentarians, human rights and religious groups demanding Syria’s expulsion. Continue reading ‘Scandal: UNESCO vote keeps Assad regime on human rights committee’