Above: Antisemitic image posted on Facebook by Majed Al-Zeer,
Director-General of the Hamas-linked Palestinian Return Centre
GENEVA, June 2, 2015 – UN Watch announced that it will contest yesterday’s “incomprehensible” decision by a UN committee to recommend NGO status for a group intimately linked to the Hamas terrorist organization, by appealing for it to be overturned by the 54-nation ECOSOC when it meets in July to consider the application.
At UN headquarters in New York yesterday, the 19-nation Committee on NGOs yesterday voted in favor of the application by the Palestinian Return Centre, a Hamas affiliate in Europe, by a vote of 12 to 3.
Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union, Canada, Israel, Japan, and the United States, and, its armed wing is designated a terrorist organization by Australia and the United Kingdom.
Voting for the Hamas-linked group were committee members China, Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, South Africa, Sudan, Azerbaijan, Guinea, Turkey, Pakistan and Mauritania.
The USA, Uruguay and Israel opposed the application, while India, Russia and Greece abstained. Burundi was absent.
Sudan initiated the vote, and a number of countries took the floor to voice their support, including Iran, which sponsors Hamas, slave-holding Mauritania, Cuba’s Communist regime — and, shamefully, South Africa.
The U.S. delegate, reported the UN, “questioned the nature of the group’s activities and leadership.”
Interestingly, Russia abstained, “because it was in favor of the right of States to ask as many questions of an organization as necessary.” It would seem Sudan’s call for a vote was intended to put an early end to the vetting process, despite the PRC’s failure to answer pressing questions. “The accusations of ties to terrorism were very serious,” said Russia, and “if they were justified, they needed to be legally pursued.”
54-Nation ECOSOC Must Approve or Reject Decision in July
UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer explained that the vote yesterday was only a recommendation by a subsidiary committee. When it meets in July, the 54-nation ECOSOC will vote to approve or reject the committee’s recommendations and to make the final decision.
“ECOSOC, which has a better ratio of democracies to tyrannies than its subsidiary, has in the past often overturned highly problematic decisions such as this one,” said Neuer.
“We will be appealing to all member states of ECOSOC to do the right thing and reject the recommendation. We will show them the long dossier of materials linking PRC to Hamas, and documenting PRC officials’ routine deployment of antisemitic images and statements. If ECOSOC fails to reject a group so intimately tied to terror, the decision will cast a shadow upon the reputation of the UN as a whole.”
Contrary to what PRC officials have posted on Twitter, their organization has not yet been approved. According to UN rules, “only if a positive decision is made by ECOSOC is the NGO granted consultative status.”
The ECOSOC vote on its Committee on NGO recommendations takes place in the rubric of the ECOSOC Coordination and Management Meeting, scheduled to take place during July 20-22, 2015.