Hillary Clinton to address UN tomorrow while
UN rights chief Navi Pillay headlines event with
anti-Semitic “Gaddafi Human Rights Prize” group
UN Watch urges Clinton, EU’s Ashton, France and UK to speak out
GENEVA, Dec. 5 – When US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva tomorrow, the world body’s top human rights official will be headlining an event next door with the Libyan front group for the “Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights,” a long-time propaganda vehicle that celebrates Holocaust deniers and anti-American figures.
According to her website, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, along with Egyptian Foreign Minister Kamel Amr, will open an international conference tomorrow on the right to development—co-sponsored by Nord-Sud XXI, a group that, according a March 25 exposé by Swiss TV, received $10 million from Col. Gaddafi’s regime to organize the annual prize.
The Geneva-based UN Watch, an independent human rights monitoring group, today called on Secretary Clinton, EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton and the UK and French governments to urge Pillay to distance herself from the event, which is also organized by the 120-nation Non Aligned Movement, a voting bloc at the UN that often adopts anti-Western positions.
The Gaddafi Human Rights Prize has been given to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, known for his vitriolic anti-Semitic speeches, convicted French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamed and “the children of Iraq and victims of hegemony and embargoes.”
The founding spokesman of the prize, and vice-president of a related foundation that recently compared Gaddafi to philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau, is Jean Ziegler, a senior member of the UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee.
“We trust that Secretary Clinton will make clear to High Commissioner Pillay that her office should not be making common cause with organizations that openly celebrate Holocaust deniers, brutal dictators and promoters of anti-American and anti-Western hatred,” said UN Watch director Hillel Neuer.
“Particularly troubling is that Ms. Pillay’s office was well aware of North South 21’s true identity from UN Watch’s previous submissions on the subject, as well as from the recent outcry in the international media, and from members of US Congress, after the Gaddafi group was admitted to the UN’s Durban III process in September.”
Documents collected by UN Watch revealing Nord Sud XXI as Gaddafi Prize front group:
* In March 2011, based on UN Watch material, Swiss TV reported that North South 21 organizes the Gaddafi Prize; that the Libyan dictator funded the group with $10 million; and the central role played by UN human rights official Jean Ziegler. Click for video.
* Switzerland’s Neue Zurcher Zeitung, based on UN Watch material, reported in 2006: “North-South 21 had been mandated to manage the Gaddafi Prize for years, as confirmed by Ahmad Soueissi, North-South’s managing director.”
* UN Watch first documented all of these facts in a major report here. Supplemental material documenting the Libyans’ open acknowledgment of North South 21 as a part of the Gaddafi Prize organization can be found here.
* According to the Libyan press agency, “the organization in Genevathat awards the Gaddafi Prize is an entity called North-South XXI (or Nord-Sud XXI).” See “President Chavez of Venezuela wins International Gaddafi Award for Human Rights,” Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corporation, December 10, 2004 (see Attachment 7 here); “Oxymoron,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 15 Oktober 2004 (citing Libyan press agency Jana as saying the Prize is awarded by an International People’s Committee and Nord-Sud XXI) (see Attachment 8 here).
* The British press has reported North-South XXI’s role in awarding the Prize. See “Gaddafi human rights prize for two dock strike wives,” The Daily Mail, September 4, 1997 (stating that Prize “[r]ecipients are chosen annually by a Geneva-based organisation called Nord-Sud 21.”) (see Attachment 9 here).
* Geneva’s Le Temps, in an August 30, 2002 article, reported: “The Kadhafi Prize [for Human Rights] is managed in Geneva by North-South 21, which claims to be an organization for the defense of human rights. It is worth noting that North-South 21 does not want to mention the financial investment of Tripoli in the Geneva center. The organization issues many periodicals and other publications but none mentions the name of the provider of funds.” (“Le Prix Kadhafi est géré à Genève par Nord-Sud 21 qui se veut une organisation de défense des droits de l’homme… Force est de constater que Nord-Sud 21 ne veut pas évoquer l’investissement financier de Tripoli dans le centre genevois. L’organisation dispose de plusieurs périodiques et autre publications à thème mais aucun ne mentionne le nom du bailleur de fonds.”)