Archive for the 'Advisory Committee of UNHRC' Category

Victory: Swiss parliament declares U.N. nomination of Jean Ziegler “inappropriate”

GENEVA, August 20 – UN Watch applauded the Swiss parliament today for declaring the U.N. nomination of Jean Ziegler — co-founder, co-manager, and 2002 recipient of the Muammar Gaddafi Human Rights Prize —  “inappropriate.”

The parliament called on Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter to cancel the nomination.

While Ziegler last week once again denied all ties to the Gaddafi Prize, Swiss TV proved that he is lying, and vindicated all of the reports of UN Watch.

To urge the Swiss Foreign Minister to cancel the inappropriate nomination click here.


The 79-year-old sociologist was particularly questioned for his ties to Muammar Gaddafi. [Salvatore Di Nolfi – Keystone]

Translation of Swiss news agency RTS

20.08.2013 13:17

The nomination of a 79-year-old sociologist to become an expert of the UN Human Rights Council was deemed “inappropriate” by a Swiss parliamentary commission on Tuesday.

The nomination of Jean Ziegler as a consultant to the Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is not to the parliament’s taste. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federal Parliament ruled this bid “inadequate.”

The decision was taken by a narrow majority.

The nomination was strongly criticized, especially in bourgeois circles, which pointed at past links by the 79-year-old sociologist with Muammar Gaddafi.

Several Liberal-Radicals [centrist party] felt that the appointment was a mistake. They have requested Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter to reverse the decision.

Christian Favre/cab


La candidature de Jean Ziegler à l’ONU jugée “inadéquate”

La candidature du sociologue de 79 ans comme expert pour le Conseil des droits de l’homme de l’ONU a été jugée “inadéquate” par une Commission du National mardi. La candidature de Jean Ziegler comme consultant auprès du Comité consultatif du Conseil des Droits de l’homme de l’ONU à Genève n’est pas du goût du parlement. La Commission de politique extérieure du Conseil national a jugé lundi cette candidature “inadéquate”. La décision a été prise à une courte majorité. Cette candidature a suscité de vives critiques, notamment de milieux bourgeois, qui pointaient les liens entretenus à l’époque par le sociologue de 79 ans avec Mouammar Kadhafi. Plusieurs libéraux-radicaux ont estimé que cette nomination était une bourde. Ils ont demandé à Didier Burkhalter de revenir en arrière.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power opposes Ziegler’s UN candidacy

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power has just become the first world figure to support UN Watch’s campaign to stop Qaddafi Prize founder Jean Ziegler from returning to the UN Human Rights Council.



UNHRC’s Advisory Committee debates “traditional values”

The U.N. Human Rights Council’s 18-member Advisory Committee opened its week-long summer session today. The agenda was adopted and the Committee discussed the “Preliminary study on promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms through a better understanding of traditional values of humankind” (“Study”).


Paragraph 30 of the Study says: “although it should be emphasized that human rights are inalienable and inherent in the human person, and are not conditional upon ‘responsible behaviour,’ individuals may be regarded as having a responsibility to promote respect for human rights, and not to cause human rights violations against other individuals.”

Germany’s Wolfgang Stefan Heinz said that “there will be much discussion about the responsibilities section of the Report”.

The U.S. emphasized that states, as opposed to individuals, have obligations.

In a joint statement, the ISHR and ICJ welcomed the reference in the Study to the fact that a 2005 proposal to develop a text on “human responsibilities” was voted down by ECOSOC owing to fears that it could “undermine the universality of human rights” (quoted from par. 31 of Study).

The Chinese member on the committee said that, “Philosophically speaking, when you talk about a right and responsibility, you cannot separate one from another. Even human rights law cannot separate that.”

Russia said that individual responsibility has a history in international human rights law, citing the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (which is also cited in paragraph 30 of the Study). They were disappointed that no reference was made to Art. 19 ICCPR, nor to human dignity through development, despite having been discussed at previous sessions of the Advisory Committee.


Russia, in order to remove the negative connotations associated with tradition, originally proposed the Study on traditional values at the Human Rights Council via Resolution 16/3 which was narrowly adopted in March 2011, with 24 members voting in favor, 14 against, and  7 abstentions. During the previous Advisory Committee session, Russia’s committee member, Vladimir Kartashkin, prepared and presented the first draft of the Study on traditional values. The new version of the text presented today at the Advisory Committee contains changes which Russia dislikes.

Kartashkin was the most vocal member of the Committee. He expressed opposition to paragraph 32 of the Study on traditional values, which provided that “diverse traditional values are at the root of universal human rights, but some have played a role to justify subordination of women and minority groups in the world.”

He insisted that the Committee get an additional 6 months to “deal” with the Study. Egypt’s Mona Zulficar disagreed with Kartashkin, saying that he should reserve his judgement once he has seen a revised draft. Various committee members praised the Study for taking a balanced approach.

The Russian delegation added that the Study should have “explored” Islam, Christianity or Judaism “which have certain relevance to human rights.”


China`s representative on the Committee, Chen Shiqiu, said “if you do not show your respect for culture, this is in it of itself a violation of human rights. We cannot use traditional values to deny universality of human rights, nor can we use universality of human rights to deny traditional values. Is human rights a traditional value? . . . If you deny that, then it means that you deny human rights too.”


The U.S. said that there is no agreed upon definition of traditional values. They expressed concern that “traditional values could be used to undermine the rights of vulnerable groups” and be “used to legitimize human rights abuses”.

The EU was “concerned about cultural relativism, which could absolve states of responsibility”. These concerns were echoed by various NGOs.

Note: Par. 42 of the Study: “The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, noted that cultural relativism is often an excuse to allow for inhumane and discriminatory practices against women in the community, and that, ‘in the next century, the problem posed by cultural relativism, and the implications for women’s rights, will be one of the most important issues in the field of international human rights.’ […]”.


Par. 48 of the Study criticizes the West: “The negative impact of traditional values can be felt not only in non-Western countries. The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, warned against ‘orientalizing’ cultures and traditions, and noted that traditional and cultural values in Western countries propagate harmful practices, such as domestic violence.”

Germany’s Heinz noted that there is a “strong countertrend” in Western countries against domestic violence and that if Western countries are criticized in the negative section, then there should be a positive example from Western countries in the Good Practices section (he then added sarcastically “unless you cannot find any examples,” eliciting laughter from the Council).


In her opening statement, the President of the Human Rights Council thanked the Committee “for all the work” that went into its Draft Declaration on the Right to Peace. In its session last month, the 47-nation council voted to create such a declaration based on the Advisory Committee’s controversial draft.

On Thursday morning, the Committee will discuss the Right to Peace during a follow-up to the reports submitted to the Human Rights Council.

– Reporting by Howard Cohen

Upside Down U.N.: Cuba’s “Right to Peace” Resolution Supports Terror

This is how the U.N. Human Rights Council undermines the very principles it was founded to uphold. Today the Communist government of Cuba, a key backer of the Syrian mass murderer Bashar al-Assad, presented a draft resolution on “The Right to Peace.”

Not surprisingly, the resolution promotes a text by the council’s Advisory Committee which recognizes a “right to resist and oppose oppressive colonial, foreign occupation or dictatorial domination.” Experts say this can be read as legitimizing terrorism.

China, the main co-sponsor of the resolution, voiced strong support for the text. Iran also expressed support for the Cuban initiative. Russia welcomed it.

The Netherlands said “not every laudable goal can be phrased in terms of human rights”, and gave the example of the right to happiness. We need to set priorities and work on identifiable and distinguishable rights; establishing the right to peace would “come in the way of the establishing of existing rights.”

The U.S. stressed the importance of a spirit of “openness and flexibility”; we are “moving towards a divisive text rather than one that can build bridges within the Council.”

UN officials on pending Congressional watchlist

Following UN Watch’s reports, articles and speeches exposing the scoundrels below, a bill pending in the  US Congress, H.R.2829 – United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2011, effectively places these UN Human Rights Council officials on a watchlist:

    (8) Some of these [United Nations Human Rights Council] special rapporteurs and members of the Advisory Committee have displayed consistent bias against the United States, Israel, and the Jewish people, while providing support to human rights abusers.

    (9) Richard Falk, the United Nations ‘Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967’, has compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Holocaust, questioned the veracity of the events of September 11, 2001, and posted a cartoon on his blog depicting Americans and Jews as bloodthirsty dogs.

    (10) Jean Ziegler, a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee and former United Nations ‘Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food’, has accused former President George W. Bush and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of committing ‘state terrorism’, has called for an investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court for ‘war crimes’ following Israel’s war against Hezbollah in 2006, has visited Cuba and praised the Cuban regime’s provision of food to the Cuban people, and has stated that Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe ‘has history and morality with him’. Ziegler was also involved in the establishment of the ‘Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights’, a prize established by, funded by, and named after Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi, and awarded in the past to Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Louis Farrakhan, and Roger Garaudy, who has denied the Holocaust, questioned the veracity of the events of September 11, 2001, and supported Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s call for Israel to be ‘wiped off the map’.

    (11) Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee who has previously served as President of the United Nations General Assembly and as foreign minister for the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, has implicitly accused the United States of ‘terrorism’, has called former President Ronald Reagan a ‘butcher’, has called for a international boycott of Israel, has stated that the Palestinians were being ‘crucified’ by Israel, has called Israel’s defensive Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip a ‘monstrosity’ and ‘genocide’, has urged the United Nations to use the term ‘apartheid’ in discussing Israeli treatment of Palestinians, has embraced Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after Ahmadinejad delivered an anti-American, anti-Israel address to the United Nations General Assembly, has stated that charges of genocide against Sudanese dictator Omar Hassan al Bashir are ‘racist’, and has declared Fidel Castro ‘World Hero of Solidarity’, stating that Castro ‘embod[ied] virtues and values worth emulation by all of us’.

    (12) Halima Warzazi, a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, has compared Israel to Nazi Germany, and used her previous membership in a United Nations apparatus to shield Saddam Hussein from censure for gassing Iraqi Kurds in Halabja.

U.N. staff broke rules for Gaza demo

The upcoming publication of the UN’s Goldstone “fact-finding” mission on Gaza calls to mind events that occurred at the headquarters of the Human Rights Council during the January war.

Certain members of the UN staff union in Geneva were so worked up by Israel’s military operation that they flouted UN rules by organizing their own demonstration, and issued a statement supporting the biased Human Rights Council resolution that was opposed by the European Union, Canada and other democracies. Click for flyer

No such efforts were ever made by the union during the previous 8 years when Hamas fired thousands of rocket against Israeli civilians. Nor have they ever done such a demonstration for anyone else in the world. 

It’s just a reminder that whenever things heat up in the Middle East, the UN explodes in efforts to condemn Israel. Even after dozens of UN institutions, agencies and officials with some ostensibly relevant mandate issue their condemnations, dozens more emerge that have no relevant mandate, or which are expressly barred from making political statements.

It’s what happened in 2006 during the Lebanon war, when the now-defunct sub-commission on human rights censured Israel — even while admitting that they were prevented by their rules from criticizing any countries — for its “massive denial and violation of human rights in Lebanon.”  Not only did the statement pointedly ignore Hizbollah’s role in attacking Israel and violating the human rights of Israeli civilians, but it blatantly violated the sub-commission’s legal mandate. 

The sub-commission has today been replaced by the Advisory Committee, whose chair is Halima Warzazi, and vice-chair Jean Ziegler. The former was an apologist for Saddam’s gassing of Kurds, the latter for Qaddafi’s attack on Lockerbie.

Qaddafi’s man at the U.N., Mary Robinson’s legacy-hire, reelected as VP

Jean Ziegler, Qadaffi’s man at the U.N. Human Rights Council — and a legacy hire of Mary Robinson — was reelected this week as Vice-Chair of its Advisory Committee. Ziegler is a former Socialist politician in Switzerland, the author of numerous books accusing America, capitalism, and the West of being responsible for the world’s ills, and a long-time supporter of dictators such as Fidel Castro, Robert Mugabe, and Moammar Qaddafi. Continue reading ‘Qaddafi’s man at the U.N., Mary Robinson’s legacy-hire, reelected as VP’

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