Ban Ki-moon was silent at meeting that named Assad Rapporteur of Decolonization Committee
GENEVA, Feb. 26 – UN Watch today called on Ban Ki-moon, US Ambassador Susan Rice and EU representatives to condemn the world body’s “revolting and absurd” decision to unanimously re-elect the Assad regime to a senior post on a decolonization committee charged with upholding fundamental human rights in opposing the “subjugation, domination and exploitation” of peoples — a propaganda victory now being trumpeted by Syria’s state-funded SANA news agency.
“It is incomprehensible for the UN to say that Syria has killed at least 70,000 of its own people and to then hand this gift of false legitimacy to the mass murderer Bashar al-Assad,” said Hillel Neuer, director of the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch.
“The UN is helping the Assad regime portray itself a U.N. human rights arbiter. That’s indefensible, and an insult to Syria’s victims,” said Neuer.
“Morally, Mr. Ban should absolutely have condemned this immoral decision when he was at the meeting. But it’s better late than never.”
The committee is mandated to implement the UN’s 1961 Declaration on the Granting of Independence of Colonial Countries and Peoples.
In November 2011, the UN also unanimously elected Syria to two UNESCO human rights committees. The Assad regime remains a full member “and no one at UNESCO seems to care the slighest bit,” said Neuer.
UN Watch heads a campaign of 55 parliamentarians, human rights and religious groups calling for Syria’s expulsion.
“It’s time for the UN to stop legitimizing a government that mercilessly murders its own people,” said Neuer.
On Thursday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon addressed the UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization, yet said nothing while it elected Syria as Rapporteur of the committee that famously saw Argentinian president Cristina Kirchner square off against Falkland Islanders in a June 2012 debate over the disputed territory.
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