Saudi chair of UNHRC panel wants "gender parity"

Saudi Arabia's Ambassador Faisal bin Hassan Trad (left) was selected in 2015 to become Chair of the UN Human Rights Council panel on choosing UN rights experts. Mr. Michael Møller (right) is the Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva. Photo by Pierre Albouy.
Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador Faisal bin Hassan Trad (left) was selected in 2015 to become Chair of the UN Human Rights Council panel on choosing UN rights experts. Mr. Michael Møller (right) is the Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva. Photo by Pierre Albouy.

Faisal Hassan Trad, Saudi Arabia’s representative on the UN Human Rights Council, thanked the members for “their trust,” in what was his final letter as 2015 Chair of the UNHRC’s Consultative Group, offering reflections on how to improve working methods.
The document, signed by Ambassador Trad and the four other members of the panel, dwells at length on the importance of “gender parity.”
However, the most recent report on the country from Amnesty International shows that Saudi women have a “legalized subordinate status” when it comes to family matters.
In the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index for 2015, Saudi Arabia ranked virtually at the bottom, 134th out of 145 countries.
In 2016, the representative of Thailand will replace that of Saudi Arabia for the Asian seat on the UNHRC panel. The chair has not been announced, and the UN has still failed to reveal how they are in fact elected.
Saudi Arabia remains a full voting member of the 47-nation Council, helping to assure its immunity. The fundamentalist monarchy has never been condemned by a UNHRC resolution, or made the object of a special rapporteur mandate, commission of inquiry, or special session.
 

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