Morris B. Abram, expert member of the United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, addressing the world body on January 15, 1964. During his term, Abram became one of the drafters of the international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.

UN Watch at 30: Defenders of Israel and Human Rights

UN Watch was founded thirty years ago, in 1993, by civil rights leader Morris B. Abram, drafter of the UN’s convention on the elimination of racial discrimination, following his term as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. A close colleague with Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights struggle, Abram was also president of the American Jewish Committee, chairman of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

UN Watch, today led by international human rights lawyer Hillel Neuer, monitors the United Nations by the yardstick of its own charter, advocates for human rights dissidents, and combats antisemitism and anti-Israeli prejudice at the UN.

“The thirtieth anniversary of UN Watch’s founding comes at a critical juncture for Israel and the international human rights movement,” said Neuer.

“Seventy-five years ago, two seminal events occurred that were inextricably linked: the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the creation of the first Jewish state in two millennia.”

“Founding pillars of the international human rights movement — Eleanor Roosevelt, René Cassin, Hersch Zvi Lauterpacht, Raphael Lemkin and many others including UN Watch founder Morris Abram — were all staunch supporters of Israel. Their commitment to universal principles and Israel’s legitimate rights were complementary, and these are the principles that guide UN Watch to this day.”

“Israel, whose founding document enshrined basic human rights for all its citizens, and serves as the only safe haven for the Jewish people, has not strayed from the path of human rights. Even in this difficult war of self-defense against Hamas, it is abiding by international humanitarian law, despite the obstacles placed by a terror group embedding its operations within civilian areas.”

“Sadly, the center of gravity of the human rights movement has moved to the extreme, far from its founding principles. The largest organizations, namely Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the UN system itself, have been commandeered by anti-Western ideology and antisemitism masked as human rights and anti-racism.”

In 2009 the founding chair of HRW, Bob Bernstein, disowned the organization for its obsession with Israel in a bombshell New York Times op-ed, and just recently the resignation letter of HRW senior editor Danielle Haas slammed the organization’s “years of institutional creep” towards its current anti-Israel slant.

“UN Watch is one of the last remaining organizations preserving the legacy of the Jewish visionaries of the 20th century that gave the world universal human rights. It’s time for others to join us and turn human rights away from its twisted obsession with scapegoating the Jewish state, and towards working to protect victims of the most brutal regimes around the world,” said Neuer.

In addition to its work combatting antisemitism and anti-Israel bias within the UN system, UN Watch is a leading advocate at the world body for dissidents from countries whose regimes have hijacked the UN’s agenda to shield their own records, such as China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and Iran, which recently chaired a UN Human Rights Council forum.

UN Watch has brought over 150 human rights dissidents to address the United Nations, giving activists a global platform.

Since 2009, over the past 15 years UN Watch has organized the annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, heading a sponsoring coalition of 25 NGOs.

Accredited as a non-governmental observer, UN Watch is a key participant in the debates of the UN Human Rights Council.

UN Watch’s truth-telling message appears worldwide in more than 600 newspaper articles and media broadcasts per year, and its videos are viewed by millions on social media. For more, please visit

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