Watchdog calls out UN rights council’s hypocrisy, anti-Israel bias

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Following is today’s testimony by Hillel C. Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, before the UN Human Rights Council, as it met under its agenda item targeting Israel.

July 16, 2020

Madam Chair,

As we are the first to take the floor, after all the statements by Iran, Syria, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and other distinguished supporters of the Palestinian delegation, let me state — for the record — that everything we have just heard has no basis in fact, or in law.

Now, 14 years ago, this Human Rights Council was founded to rectify what UN Secretary General Kofi Annan decried as the selectivity and politicization of the old Commission on Human Rights — which, he said, was casting a shadow upon the reputation of the United Nations as a whole.

And yet, in 2007, only one year later, the Council created the agenda item under which we meet today, for the 44th time. It requires — at every meeting of this world body — that Israel alone be singled out, for unique scrutiny. There’s one agenda item for the entire world, for 193 countries, which we had yesterday — and then today, one agenda item on Israel alone.

Right after its adoption, on 20 June 2007, the new Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, condemned this agenda item. He was “disappointed at the Council’s decision to single out only one specific regional item, given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world.”

Why has the Council not removed this stain on its reputation?

Madam Chair,

No other country in the world is subjected to its own agenda item — not even one that has killed half a million of its own people, or another that has 1 million Muslims locked up in re-education camps, an action that, incidentally, was praised by the Palestinian Ambassador in the letter published as HRC/41/G/17.

And so as the Council gathers today for the 44th time to vilify the Jewish state, it will simply have no time for millions of victims around the world. They continue to go ignored.

This Council, in its founding document, Resolution 60/251, promised to uphold the principles of “universality, objectivity and non-selectivity,” as well as “the elimination of double standards and politicization.” Is the Council living up to its principles?

Has the Council addressed the Secretary General’s call not to single out only one country, given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world?

Let’s take a look at the Council’s resolutions that condemn countries.

From its founding in 2006 through 2019, there has been 1 resolution on Venezuela, 9 on Eritrea, 9 on Iran, 12 on North Korea, 32 on Syria….and 85 on Israel.

Meanwhile, this Council has adopted 0 resolutions for victims in China, Russia, Turkey, Cuba, Pakistan, Qatar, Zimbabwe – and the list goes on.

Where is the “universality, objectivity and non-selectivity”?