GENEVA, February 28, 2022 — The independent non-governmental human rights organization UN Watch condemned the decision of the UN’s top human rights forum to wait until at least March 3rd—in order to “be as non-disruptive as possible” to its “program of work”—before convening an urgent debate that was requested by Ukraine on February 24th.
The council will first hold a high-level segment of speeches by dignitaries until Thursday, followed by a general segment of speeches and rebuttals by ambassadors. Only then, on Thursday or even Friday, will the so-called urgent debate on Ukraine begin.
“In prior situations, such as when the Arab and Islamic states requested to condemn Israel, the council convened a session on the same day or within 24 hours,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
“The UNHRC can and should meet right away to address Russia’s assault on the people of Ukraine. Half a million refugees have fled, hundreds have been killed, more than a thousand are injured.”
“Russian forces are right now firing missiles on the city of Kharkiv and slaughtering innocent civilians, and yet we are seeing the very opposite of a sense of urgency from the UN’s top human rights forum. It’s inexcusable, and a breach of the council’s founding mission to address gross and systematic violations of human rights,” said Neuer.
“While Ukraine’s victims await the urgent debate, the council will instead over the next week host a parade of dictators, including presidents and foreign ministers who spoke today on behalf of council members China, Qatar, Venezuela and Kazakhstan,” said Neuer.