GENEVA, October 14, 2013 – The independent non-governmental monitoring group UN Watch today called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Swiss government to order the removal of a curtain recently placed over a historic marble carving at the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva, and to “stop this dangerous kowtowing to Iran’s fundamentalist regime, an ominous sign as negotiations begin.” (See AFP story here, Tribune de Geneve here.)
“This is a very dangerous and slippery slope,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based watchdog group.
“Today the UN is covering up the artistic heritage of its most famous building, Geneva’s historic Palais des Nations, to appease the intolerance of a fundamentalist regime that subjugates women, executes gays, and persecutes Bahais; what will the UN hide tomorrow?”
“Will the UN, in deference to Iran’s nuclear negotiators, cover up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose principles of religious freedom, political liberty, and equality also offend the Iranian regime?”
“Will the UN, in deference to Iran’s sensibilities, cover up the name of the adjacent Rene Cassin Square, dedicated to the architect of the Universal Declaration who famously championed Israel’s right to self-defense during the 1967 Mideast war?”
The marble relief, called “The Creation of Man”, was donated by Britain to the UN’s forerunner the League of Nations in 1938. (AFP)