Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan (podium, right) and Ban Ki-moon (seated second from left)
GENEVA, March 1, 2013 – UN Watch, the Geneva-based human rights monitoring group that was the first to expose and urge world leaders to condemn the Turkish prime minister’s UN speech calling Zionism a “crime against humanity,” thanked the UN secretary-general and Washington for speaking out today, but continued to call on Mr. Erdogan to apologize.
“Given his leadership role as a chief co-sponsor of the UN Alliance of Civilizations,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, “the credibility of this entire framework will be undermined if Mr. Erdogan allows his anti-Jewish slur to stand.”
“A global forum whose mission is to promote mutual tolerance and respect, and to speak out against extremism and bigotry, will never be taken seriously so long as its leader is seen as inciting extremism, intolerance and bigotry.”
“We urge Mr. Erdogan to carefully consider today’s statement by UN Secretary-General Ban about how unfortunate it was that he made such hurtful and divisive comments at a meeting held under the theme of responsible leadership,” said Neuer, “and that we must all stand united in confronting religious intolerance and other forms of discrimination, which constitute life-and-death threats to the community fabric.”
“To single out one nation’s right to self-determination and attack its historical and cultural underpinnings is inconsistent with Turkey’s international obligations under UN conventions against incitement to racism,” said Neuer.
Click here for UN Watch’s original statement and video exposing Erdogan’s remarks.