Issue 616: What's New at the UN

What’s New at the UN:

  1. UN resolution on Iran’s human rights record lavishes undue praise
  2. Exiting after 10 years, Ban Ki-moon admits UN is biased against Israel
  3. UN Watch list of “Top Ten Worst UN Moments of 2016” going viral
  4. Despicable: UN holds third tribute to brutal dictator Fidel Castro

UN resolution on Iran lavishes undue praise, along with criticism
Though proponents of the Iran nuclear deal promised it would not affect their scrutiny of Iran’s human rights record, yesterday’s Western-drafted UN General Assembly resolution criticizing Iran’s human rights record added an unprecedented amount of praise for the fundamentalist regime.

We welcome the annual resolution’s traditional criticism of Iran’s gross and systematic human rights abuses, but are profoundly disappointed that the UN compromised its message by lavishing false and undue praise on Tehran’s radical and murderous regime, prompting obvious concerns that politics are infecting human rights.
Canada as the main sponsor of the resolution, and the U.S. and the EU states as key co-sponsors, must explain their actions, because nothing in Iran’s human rights record on the ground explains why UN praise should have dramatically increased.
There is a striking contrast between the praise in the Iran resolution, and the complete absence thereof in the three other human rights resolutions adopted yesterday by the UN General Assembly on Syria, North Korea, and Russian-occupied Crimea.
The resolution on Iran “welcomes” pledges by Iranian President Rouhani on “eliminating discrimination against women,” against “members of ethnic minorities” and on creating “greater space for freedom of expression and opinion.” The facts on Iran’s actions show these pledges to be pure propaganda.   READ MORE
Ban Ki-moon admits UN is biased against Israel

Outgoing UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, delivering his final mideast briefing to the UN Security Council before he ends his 10-year term, admitted the UN is biased and disproportionate in its treatment of Israel.
“During the past ten years, I have argued that we must never accept bias against Israel within UN bodies,” said Mr. Ban.
“Decades of political maneuverings have created a disproportionate volume of resolutions, reports and conferences criticizing Israel.”
“In many cases, rather than helping the Palestinian cause, this reality has hampered the ability of the UN to fulfill its role effectively.”
Regrettably, the truth is that Mr. Ban on many occasions gave in to this bias, as we documented earlier this year in an open letter to the UN chief.
UN Watch list of “Top Ten Worst UN Moments of 2016” going viral
The following Top Ten list of the worst UN moments of 2016 is now going viral on the internet and on social media.
10. Misogynistic Iran joined the Executive Board of UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
9. The UN elected dictatorships Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba, and Egypt to its highest human rights body.

8. The UN Human Rights Council held a minute of silence for brutal dictator and human rights abuser Fidel Castro. UN Watch was the only NGO in the room which refused to stand.
7. Jean Ziegler, co-founder and 2002 laureate of the Moammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize, was reelected to the 18-member Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council. Ziegler, an apologist of brutal dictators, was nominated by the Swiss foreign ministry.
6. The UN Human Rights Council, whose experts continue to ignore starvation in Venezuela, allowed the Maduro regime to cheat its recent human rights review by arranging 500 fake NGO submissions praising Caracas, including from the Bolivian Baseball Association, the Cuban Federation of Canine Sports, and the “Association for Obvious Things,” a Slovenian entity that hailed Venezuela’s record on combating hunger.
5. UNESCO negated its mandate to protect world heritage by adopting a resolution which used Islamic-only terms for Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, denying thousands of years of Jewish and Christian heritage, religion and culture.
4. UN human rights official Idriss Jazairy, a former Algerian diplomat, visited Sudan and declared its genocidal government to be a human rights victim — of Western sanctions.
3. UN whistleblower Anders Kompass—punished by his superiors for exposing the rape of children in the Central African Republic by peacekeepers—resigned in protest over the UN’s grant of “complete impunity” for those who abused their authority, top UN officials’ refusal to express contrition, and the lack of any UN accountability.
2. The UN elected Syria’s genocidal regime to a senior post on a decolonization committee charged with upholding fundamental human rights in opposing the “subjugation, domination and exploitation” of people. The propaganda victory was quickly trumpeted by the Assad regime.
1. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted that he erased Saudi Arabia from a UN blacklist of countries that kill children (Saudi Arabian bombs killed 510 Yemeni children), after the Wahhabist regime and its allies used blackmail and extortion by threatening to cut donations to the UN, including to the UN’s Palestinian relief agency, and to issue a fatwa declaring the UN to be anti-Muslim.

Despicable: UN holds third tribute to brutal dictator Fidel Castro
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GENEVA, Dec. 20, 2016 – Human rights activists are outraged that the UN General Assembly Hall in New York today hosted yet another tribute to brutal dictator Fidel Castro, with the participation of UNGA president Peter Thomson.
It was bad enough that both the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva already held separate tributes with a minute of silence to honor the human rights abuser’s memory.
Holding this third shameful and Orwellian tribute at the UN, however, is only rubbing salt in the wounds of Castro’s thousands of victims.

It was obscene for the UN General Assembly to commemorate a brutal dictator, though not all that surprising given that the same body just reelected the Communist government of Cuba as a member of the council, and given that it also elected many other despotic regimes, including Burundi, China, Russia, Venezuela, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Above: UNGA president Peter Thomson should not have participated at Cuba’s propaganda event.
Nor should the UN’s publicity machine
have lent itself to this shameful cause, as in the tweet below.

It is particularly absurd for the UN to honor Fidel Castro because he was not only an enemy of human rights, but an enemy of the UN human rights system.
Cuba has opposed every single UN human rights resolution seeking to defend the victims of the Syrian genocide, as it has done the same to back other despots at the UN.
When there was a UN human rights monitor on Cuba, Castro’s delegate routinely insulted her, and eventually killed off the mandate.
Castro’s Cuba refused to allow a single UN human rights expert to visit the country, with one exception.
Cuba allowed in UN official Jean Ziegler, a radical Swiss socialist politician, co-founder and 2002 recipient of the Qaddafi Human Rights Prize, who was appointed to the UN at Cuba’s urging.
Ziegler turned his visit into a propaganda exercise for the Castro regime, both during his visit, and in his later UN report and press conference.

UN Watch