UN Watch Position Paper on the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights In Gaza (OHCHR-GAZA): UN Watch Supports the Mandate and Functions of OHCHR-GAZA and Encourages Full Funding of the Office by the International Community

Executive Summary: The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Gaza (OHCHR-Gaza), now completing its second year of operation, is a project worth supporting. The functions undertaken by OHCHR-Gaza are crucial to the development of a democratic infrastructure in areas under Palestinian Authority rule. …

Issue 14: An UN conference on Shari’ah and human rights; and Annan calles upon American conservatives to “exercise common sense” in their approach to UN-US relations

* On November 9-10 in Geneva, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in consultation with the Organization of the Islamic Conference, will convene a conference entitled “Enriching the Universality of Human Rights: Islamic Perspectives on the Universal Declaration of Human …

Issue 13: Should the role of the Security Council expand to encompass questions of economic, socialand cultural rights?

Many Member States have recently expressed a desire for a wider, more open and inclusive Security Council. On Monday, the Secretary-General made reference to a “dormant provision” in the UN Charter (article 65) that can allow greater interaction between the Security Council and the Economic and Social …

Issue 12: The Bloated Agenda of the 53rd Session of the General Assembly

Today, all 185 members of the UN are gathering in New York for the start of the 53rd session of the General Assembly.   Analysis:  Over the next three months the General Assembly will attempt to deal with a breathtaking 165 agenda items. (The agenda itself is 15 pages long.) The agenda encompasses countless …

Issue 11: Earlier Reports of Mismanagement within the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees Appear to have been Unwarranted

Reports of mismanagement within the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) seem to have been rebutted, and they have not derailed the candidacy of  High Commissioner Mrs. Sadako Ogata for another term. Analysis:  An impressive defense of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), mounted by both the …

Issue 10: An attack against the United States and Israel by an expect of the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination

Last week at the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination, ostensibly a non-political body made up of independent experts, the Egyptian, Mr. Ahmad Khalifa, launched an attack on the United States and Israel, all in the context of decrying the politicization of the human rights field. Analysis: Mr. Khalifa …

Issue 9: The creation of an International Criminal Court; and new financial disclosure rules instituted at the World Health Organization

The UN’s Rome Conference has overwhelmingly adopted a Statute that will create an International Criminal Court (ICC). This paves the way for the world’s first permanent body to try international aggressors and war criminals. Analysis: Within the United States there are strong currents in favor of establishing …

Issue 7: Director-General of the World Health Organization asks senior management to resign; and a key issue to be resolved in the creation of the International Criminal Court

The new head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has reportedly asked all senior management to submit letters of resignation. Analysis: Readers will recall that in our 3 June 1998 edition, we wistfully suggested that all UN employees be required to reapply for their jobs. According to well-placed individuals …

Issue 6: 86th International Labour Conference with a special sitting on workers in occupied Arab territories; and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights inaugurates its new headquarters

* The International Labour Organization (ILO) convened the 86th session of its annual International Labour Conference (ILC).  After a two year respite, the ILC once again held a special sitting concerning the situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories. Analysis: The ILC considers labour conditions …