The absence of any United Nations condemnation of the ceaseless Gaza-sourced rocket attacks on southern Israeli cities is highlighted in a letter Israel has sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council.
“This is a dangerous trend,” Ambassador Haim Waxman, Israel’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, says in comments reflecting the letter’s content.
After UN chief Ban Ki-moon sent warm greetings to Iran’s “Anti-Terrorism” Conference, UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer urges him to retract. Interviewed on the Arlene Bynon Show, Toronto Talk Radio AM 640, June 28, 2011. “This is like Bernie Madoff leading an initiative to combat fraud,” said Neuer.
From today’s daily UN press conference: full transcript here, video here.
Question: Thank you, Farhan. I have a report, message this morning from the organization UN Watch in Geneva about an international conference on global fight against terrorism in Tehran, which has a purported message from the Secretary-General — I am not vouching for the English on this — this is a reproduction from the conference’s website; it says: “In a written message to international conference on fight against terrorism in Tehran, UN Secretary emphasized right against terrorism is a great responsibility for all nations and Governments.” My question to you is…
Acting Deputy Spokesperson: You mean “fight”, not “right” against terrorism.
Acting Deputy Spokesperson: Fight against terrorism; not right against terrorism.
Question: It said “fight”, I am reading… As I said, I am not vouching for the English. Did the Secretary-General make such a statement? In fact, did he say — I am sure he has said something like that any number of times, did he make this, send this particular statement directly on the occasion of this conference?
Acting Deputy Spokesperson: Yes. In fact there is a message that was delivered on his behalf. Obviously, the Secretary-General did not deliver it first-hand; but a message has been delivered on his behalf. We are getting the text, and we’ll put that out in fact this afternoon. As you know, the Secretary-General believes that all nations, all peoples are affected by terrorism; and that it is imperative that we involved as many States, as many peoples as possible in the fight against terrorism.
GENEVA — After a UN spokesperson defended the world body’s endorsement of Iran’s “anti-terrorism” conference—which accused the US, Britain, and Israel of perpetrating terrorism, and asserted a cover-up concerning 9/11 and the Holocaust—UN Watch today called on US and British representatives to intervene.
As reported today by The Jerusalem Post, a UN spokesperson defended Ban Ki-moon’s message to the conference, presented in person by a UN counter-terrorism official, saying, “the UN believes that it is important for all nations to work together in the fight against terrorism.”
“If the Chinese Communist Party will now organize an international conference for internet freedom, and if Syria’s President Assad will hold one for the right to peaceful protest, will the UN also endorse those, on grounds that it is important for all nations to work together in promoting human rights?” asked Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization.
“With Iran now trumpeting headlines such as ‘UN Chief Praises Tehran’s Anti-Terror Initiative,’ the UN must immediately distance itself from this insult to victims of Iranian terrorism worldwide. Mr. Ban should also condemn Iran’s president – as he has rightly done before — for insulting the memory of the victims of 9/11 and of the Holocaust.”
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mahdi Akhoundzadeh: “We are happy that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is sending his representatives to read out his message to Tehran conference.”
GENEVA — A watchdog organization is calling on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to retract his apparent endorsement of an Iranian government conference on terrorism that seeks to deny Iranian complicity, while instead blaming the US, Britain and Israel. The following letter was sent today to the UN chief by Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch.
# # # # #
His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations
New York, NY 10017
25 June 2011
Earlier this week, UN Watch warmly welcomed your deserved reelection as UN Secretary-General and applauded your principled leadership. It is in that spirit that we call upon you to distance yourself and the United Nations from a cynical conference now underway in Iran which claims to have your blessing and that of the United Nations.
Organized by the Iranian government, the conference is entitled “International Conference on Global Fight Against Terrorism.” It began today and ends tomorrow. The opening message by Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei attacked “the United States, Britain and some Western governments, with a black record in terrorist behaviors,” “satanic world powers,” and “terrorist organizations such as the Zionism International Agency.” (http://www.icterrorism.com/en/?news=163)
“The Secretary-General is also following with concern media reports of potential new flotillas to Gaza that can provoke unnecessary confrontations. The Secretary-General calls on all Governments concerned to use their influence to discourage such flotillas, which carry the potential for escalation. He further calls on all to act responsibly to avoid any violent incident.”
(article 21 in: Briefing to the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, by Robert Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, 19 May 2011)
British MP Denis MacShane has endorsed UN Watch’s campaign calling on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to press China to release political prisoner Liu Xiaobo.
Mr. MacShane has also tabled his own motion in the House of Commons, issuing the following statement:
“David Cameron should support President Obama’s appeal to Beijing to release China’s Sakharov. William Hague has said that trade relations should have priority for UK foreign policy but it cannot be right to buy cheap t-shirts from China while ignoring Liu Xiabow rotting in prison for the crime of signing an appeal for constitutional democract. In the name of trade and money Britain has turned a blind eye to the repression of Chinese citizens asking for rights we take for granted. Mrs Thatcher was willing to condemn Soviet communism for imprisoning dissidents like Sakharov. Mr Cameron should now tell it as it is about Chinese communism and its suppression of its citizens who challenge one-party rule.”
GENEVA, October 11, 2010 – A Geneva-based human rights group welcomed today’s call by four UN experts for China to release Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo from prison, and urged Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN rights chief Navi Pillay to echo the appeal.
“The UN’s two leading voices on human rights issues need to be clear and immediately call on China to release Mr. Liu,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
In their remarks published by the UN on Friday, China was praised for its “remarkable” advances, yet Mr. Ban and Ms. Pillay “glaringly omitted to call for the dissident’s release, or even to say a word about the fact that he is currently in prison,” said Neuer.
In the two years since her appointment in September 2008 as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Pillay has only issued two statements on China, including one in 2009 that dealt with Mr. Liu, said UN Watch. The non-governmental organization monitors the world body’s human rights system.
“There are 1.3 billion people in China-one sixth of the world’s population-who are subjected to the systematic deprivation of universal human rights. Beijing’s power and influence at the UN should never justify silence or reticence by the UN’s highest officials, especially those charged with being a voice for the voiceless and with defending victims of human rights violations,” said Neuer.�