UN Watch reveals: Algeria, Chad, China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam expected to win 2014-16 terms on world’s top rights body; Iran & Syria may also be running
GENEVA, July 9 — As a United Nations meeting is today set to hear live campaign pitches (webcast link) from the UK, France and other democracies running for seats on the world body’s Human Rights Council, the Geneva-based non-governmental human rights group UN Watch revealed its “List of Shame” — naming some of the world’s worst abusers who are also running in the Nov. 2013 election and expected to win seats: Algeria, Chad, China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. Though unconfirmed, reportedly Iran and Syria may also be running. Click here for full chart of candidates (PDF).
“This is a recipe for disaster,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer. “By electing massive abusers of human rights to the very body charged with protecting them, the UN is about to drop more rotten ingredients into the soup. We should not be surprised by the results.”
UN Watch is already working with dissidents and NGOs from China (photo left), Cuba and Russia to oppose those candidacies. In recent years, UN Watch successfully led international coalitions of MPs and NGOs to block bids by Syria and Sudan. However, most abusers win election. “Politics, not principles, are too often what rule in UN elections,” said Neuer.
“Candidates like Algeria, China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia have one thing in common: they systematically violate the human rights of their own citizens,” said Neuer, “and they have consistently voted the wrong way on UN initiatives to protect the human rights of others.”
“It’s not only that these governments are unqualified; they are the ones who should be in the dock of the accused, not sitting on high as prosecutor and judge.”
“It is an insult to their victims — and a defeat for the global cause of human rights — when the U.N. allows gross abusers to act as champions and global judges of human rights,” said Neuer.
“When the U.N.’s highest human rights body becomes a case of the foxes guarding the henhouse, the world’s victims suffer.”