@UNWatch - Un Watch

@UNWatch - Un Watch

In His Own Words: Syrian Chair of UN Disarmament Conference
Monday, June 18, 2018 6:40 PM

  No one pursues the protection of Syrian citizens more than the Syria government. That is a constitutional right. Our government and the Syrian military forces tackle terrorist groups supported by states, some of which are represented here in this room. — Syrian Ambassador Hussam Eddin Ala, Universal Periodic Review of Syria, October 31, 2016     Several countries organized the participation of the terrorists, the white helmets, the humanitarian arm of al-Nusra front, to encourage them to continue their game which consists of using chemical weapons and toxic weapons, and then accuse the government of having used them. Today the UK, the US and France are preparing the environment for these terrorists to repeat this staged play using chemical weapons and then they will blame the Syrian army for using toxic weapons. — Syrian Ambassador Hussam Eddin Ala, Urgent Debate on Eastern Ghouta, March 2, 2018   The real question is accountability for those who encourage terrorism, or attempts by countries like France, as we heard this morning. There are people who incite war and conflict, including France. It is necessary to call upon states who support terrorism to be held accountable. — Syrian Ambassador Hussam Eddin Ala, 34th Session of the Human Rights Council, March 1, 2018

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Saudis Win Seat on Third UN Women’s Rights Body
Monday, June 18, 2018 2:56 AM

GENEVA, June 18, 2018 – UN Watch today expressed grave concern that Saudi Arabia, considered by many to be the most misogynistic regime in the world, has now secured key positions on the UN’s three principal women’s rights bodies: April 2017: Saudi Arabia elected to UN Commission on Status of Women. Belgium and at least four other EU states voted for the Saudis.   April 2018: Saudi Arabia elected to the Executive Board of UN Women, also known as the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Saudi Arabia elected as new member to the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Saudi Arabia looks forward to working alongside our fellow members starting in January 2019 pic.twitter.com/CZw8hgrxZN — KSA Mission UN (@ksamissionun) April 16, 2018   June 2018: Saudi Arabia’s candidate elected UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, a 23-member expert body that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, reviews country reports and adopts recommendations, receives complaints from individuals or groups concerning violations of rights protected under the Convention, initiates inquiries into situations of grave or systematic violations of women’s rights, and formulates general recommendations regarding the Convention. Telling: Saudi ambassador (left) wouldn't even shake her hand—his regime's winning candidate. Whole thing is absurd: Electing Saudi Arabia's rep to the 23-member UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief. pic.twitter.com/ElsALRlWpD — Hillel Neuer …

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UN Resolution on Gaza Emboldens Hamas
Friday, June 15, 2018 6:24 PM

June 13, 2018 –  The UN General Assembly adopted yet another one-sided resolution condemning Israel’s “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force” in responding to violent attacks on the Gaza border. The text, sponsored by Algeria, Turkey and the Palestinians, made no mention of Hamas, which took credit for the violence. A U.S. amendment, which would have condemned Hamas, was supported by a majority of countries (62 to 58 with 42 abstentions), yet it failed after Algeria argued that a two-thirds majority was required for passing such an important amendment, and the General Assembly president agreed. Thus, the Algerian draft without the U.S. amendment was put to a vote, and was adopted by the usual majority of 120 to 8 with 45 abstentions. The end result was yet another one-sided and counter-productive resolution which only serves to embolden Hamas in future conflicts. The main deficiencies in the resolution are detailed below: 1. No mention of Hamas The resolution fails to mention Hamas, even once. 2. Ignores violence of Palestinian rioters, implying they are all peaceful protesters The second operative paragraph deplores Israel’s use of live ammunition against “civilian protesters.” While the majority of the participants in the so-called demonstrations may have been unarmed civilians, those who violently approached the border fence were armed members of Hamas’s military wing who intended to breach the fence and enter Israel to carry out terror attacks. The riots were marked by violence, including throwing Molotov cocktails, catapulting flaming kites into Israeli territory intended to set fields on fire and cause harm, stone-throwing, attempting to …

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Nikki Haley rips pro-Hamas U.N. resolution on Gaza
Thursday, June 14, 2018 9:19 PM

Remarks at a UN General Assembly Special Session on the Situation in Gaza Ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations New York City, June 13, 2018 Nikki Haley rips pro-Hamas U.N. resolution Must-watch! At yesterday's U.N. lynching of Israel, Nikki Haley dared to speak the truth. Posted by UN Watch on Thursday, June 14, 2018 YouTube link Good afternoon. There are many terrible things happening in the world today. Many things that demand our urgent attention. As we speak, protests are taking place in Nicaragua. Over 146 peaceful Nicaraguans have been killed by their own government in the past two months. But we are not talking about Nicaragua today. The people of Iran have been protesting their government for months. Thousands of peaceful Iranian protestors have been arrested. Over 25 are dead. But we’re not talking about Iran either. The world’s worst humanitarian crisis is going on right now in Yemen. Millions are at risk for starvation. In Burma, almost a million innocent people have been driven from their homes in a campaign of ethnic cleansing. But we’re not talking about Yemen or Burma. Instead, today the General Assembly is devoting its valuable time to the situation in Gaza. Gaza is an important international matter. But what makes it different and more urgent than conflicts in Nicaragua, Iran, Yemen, Burma, or many other desperate places? Because we haven’t gathered here to discuss any of those urgent issues. The United States would welcome that. What makes Gaza different for some is that attacking Israel …

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Hillel Neuer addresses McGill 2018 Convocation after award of honorary doctorate
Thursday, June 7, 2018 6:22 PM

McGill University Convocation Montreal, Quebec, June 5, 2018 McGill University convocation ceremony honoring Hillel Neuer McGill University Convocation, June 5, 2018, Montreal, Quebec.Chancellor of McGill University, The Honourable Michael A. Meighen, QC: "McGill is very honored today to celebrate the achievement of one of its own, Mr. Hillel Neuer. I invite Professor Antonia Maioni, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, to present our distinguished alumni, that he may have conferred upon him the highest recognition that it is within the power of this university to grant, and I ask Mr. Neuer to please stand and join me at center stage for the presentation of the award."Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Antonia Maioni: "Mr. Chancellor, born and raised in Montreal, Hillel Neuer holds a B.A. from Concordia University, a B.C.L. and LL.B. from our Faculty of Law, and an LL.M. in comparative constitutional law from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. An international lawyer and writer, he is the executive director of UN Watch, a human rights NGO that supports the just, and apolitical application of the values and principles of the United Nations Charter. Prior to joining UN Watch, Hillel served as a law clerk for Justice Itzhak Zamir at the Supreme Court of Israel. It was while practicing commercial and civil rights litigation at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, that he first became known as an active human rights defender at the international level. Described as someone who walks softly, but carries a big microphone, Mr. Neuer regularly testifies before …

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Human rights activists applaud McGill award to Hillel Neuer of honorary doctorate of laws
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 9:56 PM

MONTREAL, June 5, 2018 – McGill University today awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, citing his work for justice and human rights. See full citation at bottom. Human rights activists, dissidents, and former political prisoners from around the world, together with other public figures, have welcomed the award—see quotes and tweets below. Yang Jianli, former political prisoner, leading Chinese human rights dissident:  Congratulations to Hillel Neuer on being selected by McGill University for an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. Hillel surely deserves such an honor. Hillel is one of the world’s most committed, energetic human rights leaders. He has helped the cause of human rights and democracy in many countries including my homeland China particularly by giving us a platform at the United Nations. His constant and passionate voices stirs the consciences of the world’s statesmen and the public and rallies diplomats, scholars, activists, students and business people to the cause of defending basic human freedoms within the borders of the most powerful countries such as China, which so many world leaders are afraid of confronting about human rights issues. I can never thank Hillel enough for the wonderful work he does. Rosa Maria Paya, leading Cuban human rights dissident So proud of Hillel Neuer, selected by McGill University for an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. Más que merecido reconocimiento a @HillelNeuer que se enfrenta todos los días al poder de las dictaduras en el seno de @UN en defensa de los derechos humanos. Caracas mayor …

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WHO Singles Out Israel at Annual Meeting
Thursday, May 31, 2018 7:36 AM

GENEVA, May 31, 2018 – Belgium, France, Spain and other EU States voted for a UN resolution, co-sponsored by the Arab group of States and the Palestinian delegation at the annual Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) that targeted Israel over “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.” The vote took place on May 23, 2018. The annual meeting of the world health body did not address bombings of hospitals and health workers or chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Nor did it praise Israel for life-saving medical treatment it provides to thousands of Syrians living on the other side of the Syria/Golan border. Instead it focused on the health needs of the Syrian population in the “occupied Syrian Golan.” In fact, the only Item on the World Health Assembly’s Agenda addressing any particular country was Item 14 on Israel. There was no Agenda item for Yemen, facing one of the worst cholera epidemics and a decimated health system; Democratic Republic of Congo, suffering decades of violence and recurrent disease outbreaks; or Venezuela whose health system is on the verge of collapse; or any other country. Only, Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Israel, the US, and the UK voted against the resolution. On a positive note, on May 25, 2018, Professor Itamar Grotto, Associate Director-General at the Israeli Ministry of Health, was elected as one of four European Region representatives to the Executive Board of the WHO. The other three are from Finland, Germany, and Romania. “This is a …

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Nikki Haley: ‘Outrageous’ for Security Council to fail to condemn Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 10:01 PM

U.N. Security Council Emergency Meeting on Gaza Remarks of U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley May 30, 2018 Thank you, Madam President, and thank you, Special Coordinator Mladenov, for your briefing. The United States called this meeting today to talk about the dangerous and destructive activities of the terrorist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip. You might think that the rest of the Security Council would join us in condemning a terrorist organization like Hamas. There shouldn’t be any debate about this. But of course, because this attack involves Israel, the standard is different. The United States drafted a Security Council statement that would have condemned Hamas for launching rockets and endangering civilians. This should have been a no-brainer. You would think no one would want to side with Hamas when it comes to condemning rocket launches. But the statement was blocked. We called for a meeting under the agenda item “threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.” But again, we were blocked. Apparently, some Council members did not think Hamas launching rockets qualified as terrorism. The United States begs to differ. We all know that certain actions in and around Gaza receive an enormous amount of attention, both here in the Security Council, and throughout the international media. Strangely, other actions do not receive nearly the same attention that they deserve. One such action that calls out for attention and condemnation is what happened yesterday. The facts are clear. On May 29th, Hamas and an allied militant group fired at least 70 – 7-0 …

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Highlights: Democracies attack as Syria takes over UN disarmament conference
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 2:24 PM

As the Assad regime took over the presidency of the UN’s top disarmament forum today, democracies clashed with the Syrian chair. Highlights below. REGIMES CONGRATULATE SYRIA China: “We would like to congratulate you on assuming the presidency of the conference. You can count on the full support of my delegation on your endeavors.” Iran: “Mr. President, we would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency.” Pakistan: “Allow me to begin by congratulating you on the presidency of the CD, and assure you of my delegation’s full support.” Russia: “We support the presidency and will provide him every assistance.” Iraq: “I would like to congratulate you and your county in assuming presidency of the CD.” North Korea: “Your rich experience and profound knowledge will guide us.”  DEMOCRACIES CLASH WITH SYRIAN CHAIR Syria: “There was a mistake. I did not thank Germany for his statement, I thanked him for his threats.” Germany:  “None of my statements were intended as threats… Making cynical remarks from the chair does not serve this purpose….” Pakistan: “Denying the president to speak in the national capacity in the Conference on Disarmament is dual hearted; the president is the presiding officer and represents the country. How can we expect a CD member to deny them the right to speak?” US: “Syrian regime’s of using chemical weapons is well established.” EU: “We must all remember the Syrian regime bares all responsibility for prolonging the Syrian conflict.” Syrian President: “Before giving the floor to the next speaker on the speakers list I would like to bring to the attention of the member state, to …

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What we’re asking democracies to do as Syria begins presidency of UN disarmament forum
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 6:50 AM

GENEVA, May 29, 2018 – The non-governmental monitoring group UN Watch, leader of the global campaign to protest Syria’s presidency of the UN-backed Conference on Disarmament (CD), released the following appeal, background sheet and comment as the Assad regime begins its four-week tenure of the world’s top disarmament forum by chairing today’s plenary meeting, at 10 am in Geneva. _______ Comment by UN Watch “Having the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad preside over global chemical and nuclear weapons disarmament is like putting a serial rapist in charge of a women’s shelter,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN 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,” said Neuer. “At a time when Syria has been gassing its own men, women, and children to death, to see Syria heading the world body that is supposed to protect these victims simply shocks the conscience of humanity.” “Syria holding the president’s gavel is liable to seriously undermine the UN’s credibility, and will send absolutely the worst message.” What We Ask Democracies To Do  On April 9, 2018, UN Watch revealed that Syria was to head the CD, sparking a global outcry. UN Watch launched an appeal and petition, signed by thousands, calling on democracies to protest. Today we reiterate our call on all democracies to send an important message by showing their protest in one or more of the following ways: • Democracies should not send ambassadors to today’s plenary; if they must, they should send lower-level delegates or note-takers; • Democracies should, in regard to Syrian …

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