UN Watch in the News

UN Watch in the News — June 2023

UN Watch was quoted in multiple media outlets during June 2023, including on North Korea’s election to the WHO executive board, UN Watch’s Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, and Iran’s appointment to U.N. leadership positions.

Quoted in The Guardian, “Republican 2024 Candidates Criticize Trump for Praising Kim Jong-un,” June 5, 2023:

A number of Republican presidential candidates, including Ron DeSantis, have criticized Donald Trump after the former president again praised the dictatorial leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.

“North Korea, a regime that starves its own people, was just elected to the @WHO Executive Board,” Hillel Neuer, the executive director of the Geneva-based human rights organization UN Watch, wrote on Twitter.

“What this means is that one of the world’s most horrific regimes is now a part of a group that sets and enforces the standards and norms for the global governance of health care. It is an absurd episode for a key UN agency that is in much need of self-reflection and reform.”

Quoted in Newsweek, “Georgia Governor Rips Trump for Praising Kim Jong Un,” June 2, 2023:

During his time in office, Trump stood alone among Western leaders by offering praise for Kim. The former president was also in the minority this week for applauding the decision to award North Korea a spot on the WHO executive board. International human rights lawyer Hillel Neuer called the move “an absurd episode” in a tweet this week, bemoaning that “one of the world’s most horrific regimes is now a part of a group that sets and enforces the standards and norms for the global governance of health care.”

Quoted in The Australian, “WHO No Place for Kim Jong-un,” June 9, 2023:

After the WHO’s costly mismanagement of the pandemic and kowtowing to China, the world is now confronted by the prospect of North Korea having a significant say in setting and enforcing international norms about global health. It almost sounds Orwellian. The absurdity underlines, as the human rights lawyer and head of UN Watch, Hillel Neuer, said, why the WHO is in urgent need of root-and-branch reform.

Featured in VOA Korea, “International Human Rights Groups Criticize North Korea’s Election to WHO Executive Board,” June 3, 2023 (translated from Korean):

UN Watch, a non-governmental organization that monitors the activities of the United Nations, strongly criticized North Korea’s election to the WHO Executive Board in a May 31 statement. “The North Korean regime, which spends billions of dollars threatening the world with nuclear weapons while starving its own people, has been rewarded by being elected to a key role at the World Health Organization,” the organization noted.

“The North Korean regime, which starves its own people while spending billions on threatening the world with nuclear weapons, has been rewarded by being elected to a leading role in the World Health Organization. What this means is that one of the world’s most horrific regimes is now part of the group that sets and enforces the standards and norms of global health governance,” the organization’s president, Hillel Neuer, said in a statement.

UN Watch’s Geneva Summit for Human Rights cited in Le Devoir,  “How Women are the Only Hope for Lasting Peace in Afghanistan,” June 19, 2023 (translated from French):

Nila Ibrahimi, aged just 15, was one of the speakers at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy on May 17. Her story is the latest testimony, in order of time, of the resistance of Afghan women to the prohibitions put in place by the totalitarian Taliban regime; her call to react to discrimination concerning the right and access to schooling of her young peers has taken on importance thanks to the divulging power of social networks, bringing the way of engaging with themes such as human rights, and activism to a digital dimension.

Mentioned in Iran International, “Iran’s Appointment At UN Leadership Angers International Community,” June 2, 2023:

Amid campaigning against Iran’s appointment as chair of the UN Human Rights Council’s Social Forum, the Islamic Republic has gained another UN leadership position. After launching a petition to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to cancel the appointment, UN Watch — an independent human rights organization — submitted a resolution to the UN to overturn the decision late in May.

UN Watch’s Geneva Summit for Human Rights cited in La Libre Belgique, “‘One day Russia will need us and we’ll have to be ready,’” June 24, 2023 (translated from French):

Russian opposition figure Anastasia Shevchenko was placed under house arrest in Russia before fleeing the country.

She speaks in a soft voice, regularly flashing a polite smile. Behind Anastasia Shevchenko’s discretion and affability lies a life of struggle. A blue and white brooch crocheted on her blazer jacket is a reminder of her resistance. “It’s the new Russian flag, but without the red stripe. Without the blood. We all wear it,” explains the woman who spent two years under house arrest. Her fault: she wanted to oppose Vladimir Putin by demanding a democratic regime for her country. She tells us about her escape. Russian opposition figure Anastasia Shevchenko is LaLibre.be’s Saturday Guest.

How are you today?

“I’m fine, but being here at the Human Rights Summit in Geneva is very moving for me. Even so, I think telling my story is very important. So that public opinion can hear about the oppression we suffer. So that they understand that many Russians continue to resist. The price to pay is very high, but we continue to fight and stand up against this war and this regime.”

Featured in IranWire, “Bid Launched to Overturn Iran’s Appointment as Chair of UNHRC Social Forum,” June 1, 2023:

The human rights group UN Watch says it has submitted to the United Nations the draft text of a resolution to overturn Iran’s appointment as the chair of the Social Forum of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The group said in a statement on May 31 that the text was contained in a UN Watch submission to the 53rd Session of the UNHRC, a Geneva-based body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the globe.

There is no stipulated procedure for canceling such an appointment, but the 47-nation UNHRC plenary can overrule any decision of the president if one of the council’s 47 member states sponsors the resolution, according to UN Watch.

“We thank the more than 75,000 people worldwide who have signed our petition to stop Iran’s regime from heading the UN Human Rights Council Social Forum in November,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “Our goal is to reach 100,000 before approaching world leaders for their support.”

Mentioned in Ynet News, “Textbook Incitement Continues But U.S. Support of UNRWA Remains High,” June 26, 2023:

The U.S. State Department announced on Monday that it will increase its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) by $16.2 million, raising total U.S. contributions to the agency this year to $223 million.

UNRWA’s support for incitement to violence is already an open matter. A joint report by the organization UN Watch and the research and policy institute IMPACT-se, which examines and analyzes educational materials worldwide, found that UNRWA teachers and schools regularly call for the killing of Jews. According to the report, these educational institutions produce study materials that glorify terror, encourage jihad martyrdom, demonize Israelis and incite antisemitism.

UN Watch