UN Watch was very active during the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which just concluded. We delivered a total of 10 statements on a variety of issues and we hosted two family members of human rights defenders who are currently in jail, Julieta Lopez, aunt of Leopoldo Lopez of Venezuela and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Dr. Wang Bingzhang of China.
UN Watch speakers were interrupted 18 times by states that did not like to hear what we were saying. Most of the time, it was by members of the Human Rights Council who have pledged to “uphold the highest standard of human rights.”
First on the list was Venezuela with 5 interruptions and then were the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia with 3 each. Cuba and Pakistan interrupted UN Watch twice each, and once by Algeria, China and Morocco. The President stood firm and he allowed the UN Watch speaker to conclude at every occasion.
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At the same time, eight states took the floor to speak out for the right of UN Watch, and NGOs in general, to raise important issues during the Council sessions. These were: U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Ireland, Hungary, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
We are glad that the countries which interrupted us were listening closely to our remarks and we hope that they have passed the contents of our statements back to their capitals. We thank the eight states which supported us and we pledge to continue our human rights advocacy work with the same vigor, determination and commitment.