GENEVA, May 23, 2018 – UN Watch today launched a global petition to leaders of major democracies urging them to pull their ambassadors form the UN Disarmament Forum when Syria’s Assad regime takes over the presidency on May 28, 2018.
Petition sent to Nikki Haley, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau and Federica Mogherini:
It is obscene that Syria will become President of the United Nations disarmament forum that produced the treaty banning chemical weapons, only weeks after the Assad regime perpetrated a deadly chemical weapons attack.
I urge you to protest this shameful sight and symbol by instructing your ambassador to walk out when Syria takes over the presidency from May 28 to June 24, 2018.
“Having the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad preside over global chemical and nuclear weapons disarmament will be like putting a serial rapist in charge of a women’s shelter,” said Hillel Neuer of United Nations Watch.
The Assad regime’s documented use of chemical weapons remains the most serious violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention in the treaty’s twenty-year history.
At a time right after Syria gassed its own men, women, and children to death, to see Syria heading this world body will simply shock the conscience of humanity.
Under UN rules, the Syrian ambassador to the forum, Hussam Edin Aala, will help organize the work of the conference and assist in setting the agenda. Mr. Aala will exercise all functions of a presiding officer and represent the body in its relations with states, the General Assembly and other organs of the United Nations, and with other international organizations.
Syria holding the president’s gavel is liable to seriously undermine the UN’s credibility, and will send absolutely the worst message.
We note that the U.S. and Canada pulled out while Iran was chair in 2013, and all democracies should do so again now.