GENEVA, May 14, 2012 — After Ban Ki-moon’s announcement today that he supports a two-year extension for rights commissioner Navi Pillay, a non-governmental watchdog group says that the decision was made — pending the UNGA’s rubber stamp — without due public consultation or a healthy discussion of her four-year record on the job.
“A global and high-profile position that makes demands of transparency and accountability from the world’s governments should set an example for others,” said Hillel Neuer, an international lawyer and director of the Geneva-based UN Watch. “But we didn’t see that today.”
According to UN Watch’s study of Pillay’s record from 2008 to 2010, there are concerns about her ability to prioritize the most urgent situations. While the second part of the study, concerning 2010-2012, is likely to reveal improvements, the data from Pillay’s first two years as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights show as follows:
• UN Watch examined all statements by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay published on the UN website between September 2008 and June 2010.During this period, Ms. Pillay failed to address most of the world’s worst abusers.
• She made no statement on the human rights situations of 146 countries. She failed to voice any concern for victims in 34 countries rated “Not Free” by Freedom House—meaning those with the worst records, and the most needy victims.
• She failed to criticize another 50 countries rated “partly free” and 63 countries rated “free.” Among the countries not criticized: Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Brunei, Cambodia, Cameroon, Congo (Brazzaville), Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mauritania, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
• Ignored Iran: Ms. Pillay failed to issue any public statement in response to the well-documented violence against demonstrators in Iran following the June 2009 presidential elections. Her first comment appeared three months after initial reports and video evidence of government-backed paramilitary forces arbitrarily arresting, beating and killing protestors were released. Moreover, her call on the Iranian government to “release those detained for peaceful protest, to investigate reports of their ill-treatment, and to ensure respect for human rights” was made only as part of her traditional opening speech at the UN Human Rights Council session in September 2009. She did not give a press conference and chose not to issue a dedicated statement on the matter.
• Soft on Gulf: In an “unprecedented effort to engage” with the Arab countries, Pillay made a 10-day tour of the six Arab countries comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) from April 17, 2010 to April 26, 2010. Public statements during or in reference to this tour were largely positive and benign. While the High Commissioner did raise some human rights concerns, the discussion of human rights situations in those countries was largely muted. In instances when Pillay raised a human rights concern, she favored praising the country’s progress over naming recorded abuses or highlighting ongoing violations.
• Ignored Mounting Abuses in Syria: During this period, the Syrian government continued to repress minorities and restrict freedom of expression and assembly despite promises of greater transparency by President Bashar al-Assad. In July 2010, the military trials of two renowned human rights lawyers, Haytham al-Maleh and Muhanad al-Hasani resulted in sentenced convictions for criticizing the Syrian authorities on human rights grounds. In March 2010, Syrian military stormed the home of and detained Kurdish leader Abdel Hafez Abdel, and detained journalists, bloggers and writers for exposing government abuse and corruption. However, the High Commissioner did not respond to any of these events, and over the course of her tenure, did not make any public comments about the state of human rights in Syria.
#GoldStoneReport flashback! Bayefsky – Meet the UN’s anti-Israel ‘anti-discrimination’ czar, Navi PillayAugust 11, 2011
With President Obama’s anti-Israel hostility becoming an increasing liability for Democrats, the administration finally decided Wednesday to pull out of the U.N.’s upcoming Israel-bashing extravaganza known as “Durban III.” Believe it or not, the notorious U.N. world summit on racism is coming to New York City in September with the purpose of “commemorating” the ten-year anniversary of the racist “anti-racism” conference held in Durban, South Africa in 2001.
Mr. Obama’s latest lead-from-behind foreign policy move comes seven months after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government first declared “we will not be part of this event, which commemorates an agenda that promotes racism rather than combats it.”
The decision appears to be a clear reaction to the negative political fallout surrounding Mr. Obama’s recent veiled attempt to shove indefensible borders down Israel’s throat.
During Obama’s speech to the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC on May 22, he specifically referred to his decision not to attend the “Durban II” or “Durban review conference,” which was held in Geneva in 2009. But he made no mention of of U.S. participation in the 2011 Durban III event, though it would have been an ideal audience for such an announcement had he already reached a decision on it.
In 2009 President Obama decided — just 36 hours before the meeting began — that there was something wrong with a conference on xenophobia and intolerance headlined by Iranian President Ahmadinejad.
It was a costly delay, which saved the U.N. from even more embarrassment, as many other states would have acted in tandem with the United States and boycotted Durban II with sufficient planning.
Evidently, on May 22 the president still thought he could pull the same dawdling stunt again.
But with Democrats scrambling to recover from the president’s profound alienation of large numbers of voters deeply sympathetic to Israel, the June 1 announcement was made and dressed up as a response to a letter “from Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.” The old letter from last December was actually signed by 9 Democrats, 8 Republicans, and 1 independent, and post-dated a boycott call of the racism summit made by Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in November.
The better-late-than-never decision is not as simple, however, as it seems.
First, the U.N. General Assembly is currently negotiating a resolution on the “modalities” of Durban III. In plain English, there has been a difficult and protracted debate behind-the-scenes about the organization of the summit. The European Union, in particular, is looking for procedural dodges that will help it avoid the split that occurred during Durban II, when some EU states boycotted and others did not.Unfortunately for EU pencil-pushers, there is no escaping that the substance of the meeting is irrevocably poisoned.
By virtue of a 2010 General Assembly resolution, the purpose of Durban III is to celebrate a world conference that reveled in anti-semitism and to adopt a final declaration that reaffirms the original Durban Declaration. That’s the Declaration supposedly to combat racism, xenophobia and related intolerance but that somehow manages to charge just one of the 192 UN members with racism, namely, Israel.
The Obama administration has given no indication that it will encourage EU allies to break ranks and boycott Durban III, by insisting on a vote on this resolution and voting against.
Second, the U.N. Human Rights Council is poised to hold an event in Geneva on June 15 also “in the context of the tenth anniversary of the Durban Declaration.” With the Obama administration on the Council it appears set to attend events over there hoping nobody will notice over here.
But the Council and U.N. High Commissioner Navi Pillay – a native of Durban and chief champion of the Durban Declaration – have planned a three-hour panel discussion featuring seven carefully-selected speakers. They include, for instance, extremist Mireille Fanon-Mendes. As recently as April 25 of this year, Fanon-Mendes told the “Electronic Intifada” that Israel was an apartheid state and she supported the first and second Palestinian intifadas as well as blockade-running flotillas and the international prosecution of Israelis as war criminals.
The Durban illness runs deep. The U.N. human rights system, led by the High Commissioner and Human Rights Council, has perverted the fight against racism into a fight against the Jewish state, a democratic freedom-loving home to more than a million Arabs and a bulwark against the ravages of anti-semitism for all Jews.
Remember that the streets of Durban pulsated with signs reading “for the liberation of Quds, machine guns based on FAITH and ISLAM must be used” and “the martyr’s blood irrigates the tree of revolution in Palestine,” while the gross intolerance inside the Durban meeting halls ended on September 8, 2001. Given the inextricable connection between hate and violence, shunning Durban III on September 22 in New York City just days after the tenth anniversary of 9/11 was a no-brainer.
Now comes the hard part. U.N. demonization of Israel serves to justify Palestinian rejection of negotiations and coexistence, which in turn fuels U.N. support of a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood.
The cycle will only be broken if Palestinians and their U.N. enablers are made to face real consequences for attempting to reap the rewards of hate-mongering.
U.S. pulls out of Durban III: Behind the story: This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on Fox News. via daledamos.blogspot.com
The role of “civil” society in Durban I is best remembered for producing out-of-control NGO mobs. These gangs broke into the one NGO session on combating anti-Semitism, forcing it to end. After threats of violence, they necessitated the closure of the Durban Jewish Community Center, which had been the meeting place for Jewish NGOs attending the conference. They disrupted a press conference of Jewish NGOs who were seeking to raise alarm bells. They required Jewish representatives from all over the world to flee the final session with a police escort because their safety couldn’t be guaranteed if they remained. In the end, the alleged “anti-racism” NGO community deleted from their declaration multiple references to combating anti-Semitism and added that the self-determination of the Jewish people, or Zionism, was a form of racism.
The United Nations is planning to hold “Durban III” in New York City in September 2011, marking the tenth anniversary of the 2001 Durban conference, and the non-governmental forum which preceded it, held in Durban, South Africa in 2001.
Durban I produced the infamous Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), which charges Israel with racism but names no other state in the world. Durban II, held in Geneva in April 2009, was headlined by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who saw the occasion as ideal for issuing another denial of the Holocaust and an endorsement of genocide against the Jewish state. Timing Durban III for the annual opening of the General Assembly is meant to guarantee the extensive involvement of presidents and prime ministers, most of whom eluded organizers of Durban I and II.
The U.N. will now be marking the 10th anniversary of Durban I at the same time and place as the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001. Durban I, the platform for violent, pro-terrorist, and anti-Semitic rhetoric that included such speakers as Yasser Arafat and Fidel Castro, ended just three days before 9/11.
The intergovernmental working group charged with preparing next year’s commemoration session just wrapped up its first planning meeting in Geneva. It adopted a series of “conclusions and recommendations” and indicated that Durban III is intended to “reaffirm that the DDPA provides the most comprehensive UN framework for combating racism.” The U.N. General Assembly is now occupied with the delicate matter of finalizing “the modalities” of Durban III, and New York-based diplomats are hard at work negotiating the details.
(La,la land) Syria is not a democratic country, the only time in history where the people voted for their leaders (freely that is) was between 1946 and 1949. Since 1949 Syria has known only Military rule. The current incumbent Bashar al-Assad is the son of Hafez al-Assad who took power (via a coup) in 1970. During the Assad dynasty, Human rights hasn’t been on the top of the list of things to do. Which kind of explains why opposition groups were simply wiped off the face of the map when it came to complaints against the system, Something the Syrian government accomplished in the city of Hama in 1982 when they killed up to 40,000 people because they could.
Currently the Syrian Government is trying to do likewise with the general populace of the country and to date they have despatched around 400 people to the great mosque in the sky. What I’m trying to point out here, is that when it comes to Human rights Syria is way back there at the end of the queue.
Which brings me to the United Nation Human Rights Council.(UNHRC) Which since it’s inception has only had eyes for..Israel (That country in the Middle East contrary to the neighbours,doesn’t have the Death Penalty, affords equality to: Women,Gays,different Faiths etc..) is deciding to inaugurate ‘Syria’ as its newest member.Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
No doubt, the UNHRC will issue a declaration of ‘no genocide’ in Syria just like it did in 2005 when its then member ‘Sudan’ was accused of genocide in Darfur. That accolade is only reserved for ‘Israel’.
The United Nations Human Rights Council plans to hold a special session on Syria this Friday in Geneva to urge its government to stop attacking civilian protesters.
“The international community has been shocked by the killing of hundreds of civilians in connection with peaceful political protests [in Syria] in the past week,” said US Ambassador to the UNHRC, Eileen Donahoe, on Wednesday.
Her country filed a request for a special session on behalf of 15 other member states, including: Belgium, France, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Korea, Moldova, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Zambia.
“At the special session, we expect Human Rights Council members will call on the government of Syria to meet its responsibility to protect its population and stop these attacks,” Donahoe said in a statement she issued to the press.
It marks the first time that a special session has been held on the human rights situation in Syria, which has submitted a bid to become a UNHRC member. On May 20, the UN General Assembly in New York is expected to hold an election for 15 of the council’s 47-member seats.
On February 25, the UNHRC held a special session on Libya, in which it condemned the human-rights violations. It also urged the General Assembly so suspend Libya council membership.
The Assembly did so on March 1.
The text of the Syria resolution has not been finalized yet. The US would not comment on the substance of the text, or whether it would include a call for the UN General Assembly to reject Syria’s candidacy for the UNHRC.
On Wednesday, an international collation of 17 humanrights groups led by UN Watch, called on the UNHRC to include such a call in its Syria resolution.
Earlier this week the group launched its campaign to bar Syria from the UNHRC.
UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer said, “if the council this week declares President Bashar al-Assad unwelcome as a member, it would sound the death knell for Syria’s cynical candidacy to be elected a global judge of human rights.”
The coalition of human rights groups, he said, has called for leadership on this issue from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton, Ban Ki-moon and UN rights chief Navi Pillay.
Neuer said that his organization condemns a recent statement by Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Zamir Akram, that Syria’s actions do not merit a special session. He threatened that members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference would use the meeting to focus on Israeli actions against the Palestinians.
Diplomats, however, explained that resolutions introduced at a country-specific special session must be focused on the country in question.
|Syrians living in Jordan shout slogans as they protest in solidarity
with anti-government protesters in Syria,
outside the Syrian embassy in Amman April 2, 2011.
But they added, there is nothing in the procedures that would prevent countries which take the floor at the UNHRC from bringing up other issues in their statements.
Friday’s Geneva meeting will be the 16th special session held by the Human Rights Council in the last five years.
Syrian soldiers have been shot by security forces after refusing to fire on protesters, witnesses said, as a crackdown on anti-government demonstrations intensified:…The Arab Spring can never bloom if the people can not be heard because of Saudi fears.
Despite Richard Goldstone’s thirteenth hour confession, his diabolical legacy demonizing the state of Israel lives on at the United Nations. The body that created the Goldstone inquiry in 2009, the Human Rights Council, and the various entities that the Council has directed to implement his blood libel, have no intention of backing down. The facts be damned.
As of today, the U.N. system expects the Goldstone Report to be implemented as is. Four different follow-up activities are still percolating. These requirements emanate from a Human Rights Council resolution on the report that was adopted just a few weeks ago on March 25. Goldstone published his confession only after the Council once again pushed forward the implementation of his report – timing he would have known well in advance.
First, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights is required to “submit a progress report on the implementation of the [Goldstone report]…to the Human Rights Council at its 18th session of September 2011.” High Commissioner Navi Pillay will no doubt do everything in her power to keep it alive, since she was a main figure in sponsoring the report in the first place.
Prior to the decision of the Council in January 2009 to create the Goldstone inquiry, she first declared Israel guilty of “egregious violations of human rights” and then demanded “credible, independent, and transparent investigations … to identify violations and establish responsibilities.” After the report was issued Pillay became Goldstone’s lead champion, repeating dozens of times the words she first wrote in the Huffington Post shortly after the report’s release: “I lend my full support to Justice Goldstone’s report and its recommendations.”
Pillay even took the report to the U.N. Security Council. On July 7, 2010 Pillay was asked by the Council to address the issue of “situations where the protection of civilians has been and remains of great concern.” After noting the millions affected by atrocities around the world, the only plea she made in her statement to the Security Council on behalf of the peoples of this earth was: “I urge the Security Council to support the recommendations of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,” a.k.a., the Goldstone report.
Pillay, a native of Durban, South Africa who is similarly a lead champion of the Durban Declaration despite its deep-seated anti-semitism, is inextricably connected to the Goldstone report and its perjury against the Jewish state.
Second, the Secretary-General is required “to present a comprehensive report on the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of the [Goldstone Report]…by all concerned parties, including United Nations bodies… to the Council at its 18th session of September 2011.” This mandate means the U.N. secretariat is required to ask large numbers of U.N. bodies for a report on what they in turn have done to implement the Goldstone Report, thus further spreading the report’s tentacles across the U.N. system.
Third, the Human Rights Council has “decide[d] to follow up on the implementation of the [Goldstone Report] …at its 19th session of March 2012.” So the Goldstone Report will come back to the Council next year.
Fourth, the Human Rights Council has asked the General Assembly to become more involved in promoting the report; it “urges the Assembly to submit that [Goldstone] report to the Security Council for its consideration and appropriate action, including consideration of referral of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court…”
Truth and falsehood have never been reliable attributes of the U.N. human rights system. And undoubtedly, the U.N. Human Rights Council – which has expended so much effort to create and keep this scurrilous and bogus report alive – will not skip a beat. The Obama administration has run out of excuses for remaining on the Council and forcing Americans to pay for it. The Facts from www.EYEontheUN.org