Today: UN to adopt report praising Qaddafi’s human rights record

GENEVA, March 14, 2012 — A UN report praising the Qaddafi regime’s human rights record will receive its final plenary hearing today before being formally adopted next week by the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council, sparking outrage among human rights activists from UN Watch as well as Amnesty USA.


Libya was reviewed by the council on November 9, 2010 and the report, replete with praise for the Qaddafi regime, was meant to be adopted in the March 2011 session.

However, a strong protest by the non-governmental UN Watch monitoring group, which also led last year’s successful NGO Campaign to Remove Libya from the UN Human Rights Council, generated headlines in theNew York Times and other media worldwide, causing a red-faced UN to postpone the report’s adoption until now.

“The council’s review of the Qaddafi regime was a fraud, and should be declared a mistrial,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

Similarly, Suzanne Nossel, the head of Amnesty USA and a former senior human rights official in the Obama Administration, recently described the UN report as “abhorrent,” and called for a “redo.”

Despite the council’s own inquiry this year finding evidence of war crimes by the Qaddafi regime, the UN Human Rights Council, will today hold the final hearing of the outcome of Libya’s review, to be formally adopted next week.

The report’s main effect, said Neuer today, “was to falsely praise Qaddafi’s oppressive regime, insult his victims, and harm the reputation of the UN.”

“The report completely contradicts the council’s own commission of inquiry, which found evidence of Qaddafi war crimes. The review should be entirely redone, and the council should set an example of accountability by acknowledging that its original review was deeply flawed.”

“Although the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism is often described as the council’s saving grace, the vast majority of council members used it to falsely praise the Qaddafi regime for its alleged promotion of human rights,” said Neuer.

The report also includes praise of the old regime’s record by Qaddafi-era diplomats who changes sides and now represent the new government.  “With Libya’s own UN diplomats admitting that the Gaddafi regime was a gross violator of human rights, it would be nonsensical for the UN to adopt this false report,” said Neuer.

“We call on the council president to acknowledge that the council’s review of the Qaddafi regime’s record was a fraud, withdraw the report, and schedule a new session in which council members would tell the truth about the Qaddafi regime’s heinous crimes, which were committed over four decades yet ignored by the UN,” said Neuer. “Libya’s long-suffering victims deserve no less.”

The UN report’s summary notes that delegations “commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,” and that they “noted with appreciation the country’s commitment to upholding human rights on the ground.”

Chronology: UN Watch’s Campaign to Remove Libya From the UN Human Rights Council

UN Watch