The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) just released a report that marked the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) 70th anniversary on May 17, 2016 in which Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of United Nations Watch outlined the shocking hypocrisy characterizing the UNHRC (UN) in testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
IPT reported as many know, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has a reputation for maintaining an anti-Israel bias while other nations, such as Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia to name a few have records far worse than Israel, who is on a constant vigil to defend itself.
Neuer, in his lengthy speech before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said, “The founders had a dream: to reaffirm the principle of human dignity, and to guarantee fundamental freedoms for all.”
“Over time, however, dictatorships hijacked the Commission—even electing the murderous regime of Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi as Chair; 1946, Eleanor Roosevelt; 2003, Colonel Qaddafi. The UN promised that the new body would elect members committed to human rights, and address the world’s most severe abuses, “said Neuer.
“Two years later, UN Secretary-General Annan called for scrapping the commission, identifying its politicization, selectivity, and credibility deficit—all of which “cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole. By contrast, the UN promised that the new body would elect members committed to human rights, and address the world’s most severe abuses. Ten years later, we ask: Is the new body living up to the UN’s promise of reform, and to the original dream, from 70 years ago, of Eleanor Roosevelt?”
Neuer continued and said, “To the vast majority of abusers, the Council grants impunity. In China, 1.3 billion people are denied freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion. Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo languishes in prison. Tibetans are trampled and tortured. The Council’s response? Not one resolution, special session, or commission of inquiry. No protection for one-fifth of the world’s population. On the contrary, in violation of the criteria guaranteed in the Council’s 2006 charter, China was elected as a member.”
“In Russia, dissidents are harassed, arrested, even assassinated. Vladimir Putin’s regime has sparked deadly wars, invading Ukraine and swallowing Crimea. The Council’s response? Silence. Over ten years, the Council never attempted to pass a single resolution condemning Russia—when even the discredited commission managed to adopt two. Nor did the Council create a single special session, monitor or inquiry. On the contrary: Russia, too, was elected a member.”
“In Saudi Arabia, women are subjugated, Christians are arrested for practicing their religion, democracy blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a thousand lashes, and beheadings are at an all time high. The Council’s response? Silence. A recent attempt to investigate Saudi Arabia’s carpet bombing of Yemeni civilians was quashed. On the contrary: Saudi Arabia, too, was elected a member.”
“And faced with compelling reports of torture in Algeria, forced child labor in Congo, attacks on dissidents in Cuba, abuse of foreign workers in Qatar, incommunicado detentions in the United Arab Emirates, the imprisonment of Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma and other democracy leaders in Venezuela, and arbitrary arrests in Vietnam, what has the Council done, over its ten years, to protect these victims?”
“Absolutely nothing. On the contrary: the UN elected every single one of these abusers as a Council member. With 62% of the current membership failing the basic standards of a free society, the Council’s democracy credentials are, in 2016, the lowest in history, “said Neuer.
“I often walk past Villa Diodati. When I gaze across Lake Geneva and see the UN Human Rights Council, I cannot help but wonder: If Eleanor Roosevelt and René Cassin were alive, and beheld the sight of a body that grotesquely legitimizes murderers, dictators, and anti-Semites, would they not be revolted by what has become of their creation? Would they not conclude that today’s UN Human Rights Council has become Frankenstein’s monster, and their dream become a nightmare?, “stated Neuer.
Read more details of Neuer’s remarks here.