Issue 163: New Video: UN Human Rights Council — In Their Own Words

New Video: UN Human Rights Council Members—In Their Own Words
At its recent June 2007 session, the UN Human Rights Council concluded its lengthy reform process by voting, first, to drop Belarus and Cuba from its blacklist. New restrictions were imposed on the independent experts who report on country violations. The ability to introduce resolutions that name abusers was curbed.  And Israel was singled out for permanent indictment—subjected to the council’s sole agenda item on a specific country, and to the sole investigation that examines only one side, presumes guilt in advance, and is immune from review.
The video clip below offers a glimpse into how the UN’s highest human rights body—dominated by the worst abusers of human rights—is tragically being turned on its head, to attack democracies, destroy mechanisms of human rights protection, and assault the very idea of human rights.

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Many of the following sample quotes from the UN Human Rights Council appear in the above video.

Attacking Democracies

  • “The United States [is] the main enemy of international cooperation and human rights across the world.” — Cuban Ambassador Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios, June 19, 2007. 
  • “They [Americans] are killing civilians, practicing torture, and other cruelty exhibiting those of Nazism.” — North Korean Amb. Choe Myong Nam, Sept. 27, 2006. 
  • “The United Kingdom…is spearheading the rabid, demonic forces against Zimbabwe.” — Zimbabwe Amb. Chitsaka Chipaziwa, Mar. 29, 2007.

Blaming Western Conspiracy

  • “We witness a conspiracy against Sudan for political objectives.” —Minister of Justice of the Sudan Mohamed Ali Elmardi, Mar. 16, 2007. 
  • “External parties [are] exploiting the situation [in Darfur] so that they can achieve their own objectives, in oil particularly.” — Syrian represenative Abdul-Monem Annan, June 13, 2007.

Insulting UN Experts

  • “The Cuba she is trying to present to us is…concocted in the laboratories of the CIA and the White House.” — Cuban Amb. Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios, attacking Ms. Christine Chanet, the UN expert on human rights violations in Cuba, June 12, 2007. 
  • “The report [of the expert on Belarus] is really a basket-case in terms of analyzing what can go wrong in special procedures.” —Algerian Amb. Idriss Jazairy, insulting Mr. Adrian Severin, June 12, 2007.

Elimination of Experts on Country Violations

  • “Ambassador Juan Antonio Fernandez…within a few days, together with you, we will celebrate the end of the mandate of this rapporteur [expert on Cuban violations], and we will listen together to Guantanamera.” — Palestine representative Mohammad Abu-Koash, June 12, 2007. 
  • “All country rapporteurs should be dropped.” — Palestinian representative Mohammad Abu-Koash, Mar. 12, 2007.

  • “Shed the institution of country-specific procedures.” — Russian representative Sergey Chumarev, Oct. 3, 2006.

Perverting Human Rights

  • “We represent the conscience of humanity.” — Sudan representative, Oct. 4, 2006.

  • “Arafat, Castro, [Che] Guevara stand tall…in their worldwide influence, stature, and inspiration.” — Palestinian representative Mohammad Abu-Koash, June 12, 2007. 
  • “It’s become politically incorrect to be antisemitic against Jews while it is correct to be antisemitic against Arab peoples. Antisemitism is a form of racism that we’ve all experienced.” — Algeria’s Amb. Idriss Jazairy, head of the African Group at the Human Rights Council, June 11, 2007. Notwithstanding his degrees from the universities of Oxford and Harvard, as well as France’s elite Ecole Nationale d’Administration, Ambassador Jazairy offers the childish argument, often repeated at the UN by Arab and Muslim states, that because Arabs are “Semitic” people, the universal term for hostility or prejudice against Jews ought to be gutted of its meaning. In so doing, the Algerian diplomat and his colleaguesseek to deny antisemitism by redefining the very concept itself out of existence.


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