In the News: UN Watch Exposes UNHRC Election of Abuser States

On October 17, 2019, Venezuela, Libya, Mauritania and other non-democracies won election to the UN Human Rights Council. UN Watch led the opposition campaign with a major report.

After the results came in, UN Watch exposed the election of tyrannies to the UN’s highest human rights body. UN Watch was quoted by CNN, Newsweek, UPI, Le Monde and other major media — see below.

Even as apologists for UN immorality sought to justify the election of abusers, UN Watch’s viral tweets, embedded below, dominated the global conversation.

Quoting UN Watch: UN Elects Dictators to Human Rights Council


Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-government watchdog based in Geneva, compared it to ‘making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief’…


UN Watch took to Twitter minutes after the election to point out that Mauritania, Libya and Sudan were all elected to the council by larger margins than Venezuela’s, despite allegations of human rights abuses in those nations…

Le Monde: 

« Qu’un pays comme le Venezuela soit “juge en droits de l’homme”, c’est obscène ! », s’exclame Hillel Neuer, le directeur de l’ONG UN Watch… « En Mauritanie, entre 10 % et 20 % de la population sont traités comme des esclaves ; au Soudan, il y a des excisions ; et, en Libye, on trouve des cas de torture, ainsi que des marchés aux esclaves, détaille Hillel Neuer. Tous ces pays auraient dû être disqualifiés. Ce Conseil devait remplacer en 2006 la Commission des droits de l’homme, qui abritait trop de régimes autoritaires. Treize ans plus tard, c’est un échec total. »

United Press International:

Following the vote, UN Watch, a nonprofit organization that monitors the intergovernmental organization, began a petition to expel Maduro from the council, citing extrajudicial killings, torture, the jailing of political prisoners and other human rights violations committed by the regime.
“Electing the oppressive Venezuelan regime of Nicolas Maduro to a human rights council is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief,” UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer said in a statement. “It’s absurd, immoral and offensive.”
The Geneva-based U.N. monitor, which campaigned in 2010 to have Libya removed from the council, said three other newly elected nations — Mauritania, Libya and Sudan — all had poor human rights records.
“Sadly, today, the U.N. General Assembly disregarded its own rules by electing regimes that violate the human rights of their own citizens, and which consistently vote the wrong way on U.N. initiatives to protect the human rights of others,” Neuer said.

Catholic News:

In a report jointly authored report by UN Watch, the Human Rights Foundation, and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, Mauritania, Libya, and Sudan were all rated as “unqualified” for the council [and were] criticized for their authoritarian governments, limits on freedom of the press, and for their ‘negative’ UN voting records.
The report singled out Mauritania for its history of corruption, ethnic discrimination by government actors, slavery, human trafficking, child labor, and criminalization of homosexuality.
Voting nations can and should refrain from electing rights abusers to the UN’s highest human rights body,’ said Hillel Neuer of UN Watch.”

CNS News:

Costa Rica’s challenge was praised by human rights advocacy groups such as U.N. Watch, which said it hoped the “late but welcome entry into the race in the Latin American group will see countries reject Venezuela’s absurd candidacy.”
U.N. Watch is proposing a major change to the system of electing council members.
“If our own democracies continue to disregard the election criteria by voting for abusers,” said the group’s executive director Hillel Neuer, “then we should just scrap elections altogether, and make every country a member.”
In such a scenario, he said, countries that are not democracies “could no longer hold up their UNHRC election as a shield of international legitimacy to cover up the abuses of their regime.”
“Regrettably, the E.U. has not said a word about hypocritical candidacies that only undermine the credibility and effectiveness of the U.N. human rights system,” Neuer said. “By turning a blind eye as human rights violators easily join and subvert the council, leading democracies will be complicit in the world body’s moral decline.”

UN Watch