Immediately following the clash, UN Watch submitted to U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton a draft letter that would convene an urgent debate on Venezuela, as well as a draft resolution to condemn Venezuela’s violations of human rights, suspend the government of president Nicolas Maduro from the Human Rights Council, and create a commission of inquiry. Continue reading ‘Clash at UN Assembly: Venezuela Objects as Aunt of Jailed Opposition Leader Calls for Urgent Human Rights Council Debate’
Archive for the 'Venezuela' Category
GENEVA, March 6, 2013 – The Geneva-based human rights monitoring group U.N. Watch criticized the chief United Nations human rights body for holding a rare minute of silence today for late Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, saying that the Cuban-led praise (see below) was “excessive, uncustomary, and disrespectful of its own experts’ findings of gross and systematic human rights abuses committed by the Caracas government, and of testimony by Venezuelan victims whom UN Watch had brought before the Council.”
“Protocol did not require today’s ceremony,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, “and the world body must not forget that its founding purpose is to defend basic human rights. Sadly, that message is at serious risk of being blurred today.” Continue reading ‘Human rights activists slam U.N. tribute to Chavez’
UN Watch has launched an international campaign (www.unwatch.org/StopChavez), supported by dozens of human rights NGOs and parliamentarians, to block the Chavez bid. The U.N. vote will be on Nov. 12th in New York.
Sadly, not a single country — including the U.S. — has registered its public opposition. Yet the election of Chavez would grant legitimacy to an autocrat who systematically harasses journalists, judges, human rights activists and student leaders, a man who supports the butchers of Syria and Iran just as he backed “brother” Col. Qaddafi to the bitter end.
Urge U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to speak out: Click Here. Continue reading ‘Say no to Chavez election to U.N. Human Rights Council on Nov. 12′
UN Watch sounded the alarm, filed legal protest, submitted appeal by 30 rights groups to 193 countries, organized online petition sending 3,000 messages to Sudanese UN mission
Group now shifts focus to candidacies of Venezuela and Pakistan
GENEVA, Sept. 3 – In a rare victory for activists seeking to bar abuser states from the U.N. Human Rights Council, Sudan dropped its bid following a massive NGO campaign chaired by Mia Farrow and organized by the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch.
The UN Watch offensive included the filing of a legal objection, an appeal by 30 human rights NGOs, the dispatch of letters to nine foreign ministers and 193 U.N. missions, a Facebook and online campaign that sent 3,000 messages to Sudan’s UN envoy, and to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, who in turn pressured the Khartoum regime.
Speaking on behalf of UN Watch, Venezuelan exile Eligio Cedeno, a former political prisoner and prominent businessman, delivered the following speech today before the U.N. Human Rights Council. UN Watch has launched an international campaign to stop Chavez from winning a seat on the council.
Video begins at mark 1:03:55 below
My name is Eligio Cedeño, and I come from Venezuela. Today I am a free person, but three years ago I was a political prisoner in Venezuela.
I was sent to jail because I provided financial support to Venezuela’s political opposition.
I was jailed for two years, ten months and three days — without a trial. Following a recommendation of this organization, the United Nations, I was freed by Venezuelan Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni.
Continue reading ‘U.N. speech: Famous Venezuelan political prisoner confronts Chavez’
The Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy took place on March 13, 2012, organized by UN Watch and an international coalition of 20 NGOs. The Summit, which ran in parallel to the main session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, produced alternative draft resolutions for the Council to consider. These deal with urgent human rights situaitons that have so far been ignored by the international community. These are:
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in Cuba
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in Pakistan
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in Saudi Arabia
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in Venezuela
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in Vietnam
- Draft resolution of the situation of human rights in China
Today Venezuela’s UPR report is scheduled to be adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council at 3 pm Geneva time. Each review lasts one hour, during which state representatives have 20 minutes to discuss the report, accept or reject its recommendations, and respond to any questions from the floor.
The other 40 minutes are divided equally between states and NGOs, each getting two minutes to speak. That means a maximum of 10 states and 10 NGOs can take the floor.
As reported, the list of speakers is as follows:
6. Dominican Republic
8. North Korea
10. Myanmar [List of states to be cut here due to time limit]
17. Sri Lanka
1. Defensora del Pueblo Gabriela Ramirez
2. Indian Council of South America
3. Cuban Women Federation
4. Word Federation of Trade Unions
5. Cuban Association for the United Nations
6. North-South XXI
7. Organización International de aportación de voluntarios para mujeres, educación y desarrollo (VIDES)
8. Association for the Prevention of Torture
9. Human Rights Watch
10. Article 19 [List of states to be cut here due to time limit]
12. Instituto internacional de Maria Auxiliadora (IIMA)
13. United Nations Watch (UN Watch)
14. Save the Children
15. Amnesty International
16. Encuentro africano por la defensa de los derechos humanos
What is clear from the above is that the Venezuelan government, aided no doubt by the experienced Cuban diplomats, rallied their close friends — governments and phony NGOs (known as “GONGOs”, or Government-operated NGOs) — to monopolize the limited time of the debate.
For example, there are several pro-Castro NGOs on the list as well as the North-South XXI group, which was created by the Qaddafi regime. We shall be lucky to hear even six minutes of genuine scrutiny of the Chavez regime’s violations of human rights.
In response to UN Watch’s campaign to block the Chavez regime’s bid for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, the Spanish-language division of Radio Netherlands reports today that Venezuelan ambassador to the UN Jorge Valero has “defended his country’s bid to qualify,” making the following claims:
- Venezuela offers a “clear example of the perfect fulfillment of human rights.” Continue reading ‘Venezuela UN Ambassador rejects UN Watch protests, defends Chavez regime’s bid for seat on UN rights council’
Rights groups to oppose bids by Pakistan and Venezuela for UN Human Rights Council
GENEVA, Feb. 22 – The governments of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Pakistan are slated to run unopposed for seats on the UN’s 47-nation Human Rights Council this year, reported the independent monitoring group UN Watch, citing sources close to the UN.
“It’s an outrage,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, who announced the formation of an international coalition of parliamentarians and human rights groups to block both candidacies, “due to their poor records on human rights protection at home and on human rights promotion at the UN.” Continue reading ‘Chavez running for seat on top UN rights body’