Hillary Clinton in Geneva tomorrow: Will she stop Swiss nomination of U.N.’s leading anti-American and anti-Israel official?
News: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets in Geneva tomorrow with Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, whose government has just nominated Jean Ziegler–a former Swiss politician notorious for his anti-American books, giving a prize to a French Holocaust denier, and apologetics for Libya’s Qaddafi regime–to a U.N. human rights post. Ziegler is a longtime Socialist party confidante of Ms. Calmy-Rey.
Calmy-Rey’s government nominated Ziegler for re-election to the advisory committee of the UN Human Rights Council, as the only candidate of the council’s Western group. When Western states elect a notorious apologist of dictators and one of the world’s most virulent promoters of hatred against their own embattled civilization, they signal defeatism in the wrong place—and at the worst time. Ziegler’s latest French-language best-seller is entitled Hatred of the West. The U.N. vote is scheduled for March 25th.
We support America’s new decision to participate in the UN Human Rights Council, but only if its presence will be used to fight and defeat such perversions of human rights. As the darling of the council’s ruling Arab and Third World blocs, Ziegler’s re-election is virtually assured. Only pressure from Secretary Clinton, supported by other voices of reason, can stop Swiss Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey from pursing this outrageous nomination. Click Here to Take Action
Analysis: Astonishing to believe — but at the U.N., too often, not too astonishing for it not to happen. Jean Ziegler has a long history of supporting unsavory rulers and regimes, including some of the world’s worst human rights violators. As U.N. hunger expert from 200 to 2007, he ignored regions with the most severe food crises, and instead devoted his time to anti-Western and anti-Israel polemics.
As documented in this UN Watch essay, Jean Ziegler is:
- Apologist for some of the worst human rights criminals of our time. Click for video.
- After Fidel Castro imprisoned 70 journalists, Ziegler proclaimed “total support for the Cuban revolution.” During an official visit to the Communist island in October, Ziegler hailed the virtues of Castro regime even while he refused to meet Cuban dissidents.
- “…Ziegler went to Hanoi during the ’80s, where he heaped praise upon General
1989: Four months after Libyan bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, Jean Ziegler establishes “Khaddafi Human Rights Prize,” in collaboration with Libyan dictator.
2002: Prize is awarded to French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy—and to Jean Ziegler himself. Ziegler goes to Libya to attend ceremony, but claims he went for “unspecified UN business.”Click for Video of Ziegler DenialsVo Nguyen Giap and Ho Chi Minh. Indeed, it would be hard to find an intellectual more stained by collaboration with evil regimes in the 20th century than Mr. Ziegler .” (Jan Marejko, “Che Guevara Lives at the UN,” August 2002.)
- Served Ethiopian dictator Mengistu — who used famine as a weapon to kill thousands — by helping draft one-party constitution.
- Abused UN food mandate. As UN special rapporteur on the right to food for the past seven years, Mr. Ziegler ignored many of the world’s most starving populations, instead focusing attention on his personal political agenda. As documented in the UN Watch report “Blind to Burundi,” during 2000 to 2004, Mr. Ziegler systematically failed to speak out for numerous food emergencies, in Burundi, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone and elsewhere.
- In 2002 he praised the Zimbabwean dictator, saying, “Mugabe has history and morality with him.” He paid visits to Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Kim Il-Sung in North Korea.
- In 2006, during an interview in Lebanon, Mr. Ziegler said, “I refuse to describe Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. It is a national resistance movement. I can understand Hezbollah when they kidnap soldiers…”
- According to an article last year in The Guardian, “in 1989—four months after Libya bombed Pan Am flight 103, killing 270 people from 21 countries—Ziegler launched the annual Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize in Tripoli, boasting it was the ‘Anti-Nobel prize of the third world.’ Winners have included Fidel Castro, Louis Farrakhan, and a leader of a Ba’ath party women’s organisation in Saddam’s Iraq. In 2002, the recipients included the convicted French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, and Ziegler himself.”
- Ziegler defended Garaudy’s writings on the Holocaust in a 1996 letter that was published by the “Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust,” a group dedicated to the promotion of Holocaust denial. “I am outraged at the legal case they are making against you,” wrote Ziegler. “All your work as a writer and philosopher attests to the rigor of your analysis and the unwavering honesty of your intentions. It makes you one of the leading thinkers of our time…. It is for all these reasons that I express here my solidarity and my admiring friendship.”
- According to the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Ziegler is a co-founder of “Nord Sud 21,” the Libyan front organization in Geneva that manages the Qaddafi prize, and that heads a coalition of extremist NGOs seeking to make Durban II reproduce the anti-Western and anti-Israel propaganda of the 2001 conference.
Ziegler’s one–year appointment to the council last was bitterly opposed by Per Ahlmark, former deputy prime minister of Sweden, as well as by the Canadian MP Irwin Cotler, a former minister of justice and attorney-general, who served as counsel to Nelson Mandela and Andrei Sakharov, and the Darfur survivor and president of the Darfur Peace and Development Center, Gibreil Hamid.