Justice: U.N.’s “Qaddafi Prize” Creator is Finally Defeated

Ziegler supported tyrants, terrorists & racists: Qaddafi, Castro, Mugabe, Chavez, Hezbollah, Farrakhan


GENEVA, March 27 – Calling it “a defeat for the enemies of human rights,” UN Watch announced today that notorious UN official Jean Ziegler—who in 1989 boasted to the world his creation of the “Moammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize,” an award that has since been given to Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, Louis Farrakhan and other racists—lost his bid to become the UN’s first expert on ensuring an “equitable international order,” an anti-Western mandate founded by the UN Human Rights Council at the request of Cuba’s Communist regime.

“Ziegler is a human rights impostor who has wilfully espoused propaganda on behalf of any tyrant or terrorist that is anti-American, anti-Western or anti-Israel,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

The Geneva-based watchdog group produced the report, essay, documentary and ensuing campaign against Ziegler that sparked worldwide newspaper articles, TV reports and NGO appeals documenting his abuses.

UN Watch’s campaign eventually succeeded in placing Ziegler on a pending congressional watchlist of UN abusers, and on the radar of foreign ministries worldwide.

Ziegler, a former Socialist politician in Switzerland, tried to preempt news of his rejection last week by telling Swiss news agency SDA that he “declined” to apply for the post.

“The UN’s own documents shows that Ziegler is, once again, completely lying,” said Neuer.


UN Watch has obtained and published Ziegler’s 9-page, detailed application online, in which he declares: “I am personally very motivated to assume this mandate.”

The new mandate, “Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order,” was sponsored by Cuba to criticize Western countries that it says “wish to dominate the world with their economic and military models.”

The UN lists Ziegler as one of four applicants, and the report of the hiring committee shows that—by unanimous decision—only three of the candidates, meaning all except Ziegler, were interviewed and considered. The council president recently announced that the position was given to someone else.

In his application, Ziegler stressed how important it was for him to win the new mandate, in order to “participate in the promotion of the justiciability of all human rights within the normative framework of the United Nations.”

Asked by the form to say what measures he would take to avoid accumulating UN functions, Ziegler pledged to end his current post as council advisor in exchange for the far more influential position.

Until now, Ziegler had easily won election to UN sinecures. This time, however, although Ziegler still sits as one of the council’s senior advisers, he was the only one of all four applicants not to be considered for the post.

“The council has, finally, expressed a lack of confidence in Mr. Ziegler,” said Neuer.

In his application, Ziegler made clear how badly he wanted the new post, which would have handed him a global podium and media coverage as a roving UN investigator, similar to his 2000-2008 post as the council’s “Special Rapporteur on the right to food.”

In his application, Ziegler also generously offered six weeks per year to tour the world on country visits.

Former Swiss foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, a Socialist Party comrade of Ziegler, used to lobby capitals worldwide on his behalf. Her recent retirement removed one of his key backers.


In his previous campaigns for UN posts, Ziegler received overt backing from Libya, Cuba and other anti-Western regimes, as well as from Swiss Socialist circles led by former foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey.

Distributing this glossy brochure, Calmy-Rey’s office in 2008 aggressively lobbied UN delegates for Ziegler’s last campaign, which he went on to win by an overwhelming vote.

The changes of government in Libya and Switzerland apparently played a role in the erosion of Ziegler’s diplomatic support.

Insiders say that neither Switzerland, which exercises key influence as a council member and host country, lobbied this time for Ziegler, nor did Libya.

Ziegler’s opponents were thus able to gain the upper hand. Swiss news agency SDA reported rumors that the US advocated against Ziegler’s latest bid.

“The defeat of Jean Ziegler, who brought discredit upon a body founded by Eleanor Roosevelt, is a small but long-sought victory for the cause of UN reform, and only underscores the need for persistence in exposing those who would inject their poisonous political agendas into UN positions that should be used to help victims,” said Neuer.

Jean Ziegler in, 1976, visiting with the Eritrean Liberation Front. In 1979, Ziegler photographed himself in Ho Chi Minh’s Hanoi, standing atop a captured American tank.

Swiss public opinion turned sharply against the Qaddafi regime and his supporters in 2008 after two of its citizens were taken captive by Libya, and because of last year’s war.

In 2011, basing themselves on UN Watch materials, reports by Swiss TV and Le Matin demonstrated how Ziegler had lied and covered up his role in creating the Qaddafi Human Rights Prize.

Shortly thereafter, Ziegler was disinvited by the Salzburg Festival from delivering its keynote address. Ziegler blamed UN Watch for nixing his appearance.


It remains unclear whether Ziegler’s other admirers, typically from far-left and anti-Western groups, will also drop him.

A test case will come this week. A group of Canadian universities, Laval, Ottawa U. and UQAM, together with a network called “the Food Sovereignty Coalition,” are tomorrow hosting Ziegler’s long-time protegé, supporter and presumed ghost-writer Christophe Golay—while next week they are featuring three separate lectures by Jean Ziegler himself.

UN Watch is calling on the Canadian activists and academics to follow the example of Austria’s Salzburg Festival and cancel the events. They should not legitimize a discredited UN official who has supported serial rights abusers, and who was accused by the World Food Program of gravely harming the cause of millions of hungry people


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