Today: Rights Group in DC for Report on U.S. Role at UN Human Rights Council

PRESS RELEASE

UN Council Shields Worst Abusers, “It’s the Foxes Guarding the Chickens”

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 — The following was released today by UN Watch:

Who: Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. (https://unwatch.org)

What: Mr. Neuer will brief media on UN Watch’s upcoming 2010 scorecard of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), with concrete recommendations for the U.S. government on how to improve the Council’s effectiveness. (The UN Watch report will be publicly released tomorrow, Feb. 23rd, when it is presented at a Capitol Hill briefing hosted by U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined by U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.)

WhenTODAY, Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Where: National Press Club, Washington, DC

Selections from UN Watch 2010 Report:

  • The U.S. should put an end to the UNHRC’s culture of inaction by initiating country-specific resolutions, special sessions and investigative mandates on situations of gross human rights abuses. Continuing failure to do so will call into question the utility of the UNHRC.
  • Analyzing 30 key UNHRC resolutions of the last year, the UN Watch report finds that a majority of 18 were actually counterproductive to human rights. These include resolutions praising Sri Lanka after it killed an estimated 20,000 civilians, and praising Sudan for its “progress.”
  • Other resolutions formally defined any discussion of terrorism committed in the name of Islam as a form of “defamation” and “racism,” and undermined UN mechanisms designed to hold countries accountable, such as independent rights monitors. To date, the UNHRC has devoted 27 of its 33 censures to one-sided resolutions criticizing Israel. See “Key Actions” chart at https://unwatch.org/hrcreport.
  • The UNHRC turned a blind eye to the world’s worst violations, granting impunity to 18 of the 20 worst violators. It failed to adopt any resolution, special session or investigative mandate for Belarus, China, Cuba, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Laos, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Zimbabwe—all on Freedom House’s list of the world’s worst abusers. The same holds true for Iran, despite ongoing show trials and executions. See “Worst Abusers” chart at https://unwatch.org/hrcreport.

“Paradoxically, the U.N.’s main human rights body has turned into the world’s leading sponsor of impunity for gross abuses worldwide,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “It’s the foxes guarding the chickens, with China, Russia, Pakistan, Cuba and Saudi Arabia shielding each other’s violations. We urge the U.S. to be more pro-active and begin holding these countries accountable.”

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