@UNWatch - Un Watch

@UNWatch - Un Watch

U.N. elects Syria to top post fighting “subjugation of peoples”
Thursday, February 22, 2018 11:27 PM

GENEVA, February 23, 2018 —  A UN watchdog group is criticizing UN chief Antonio Guterres for his blessings delivered Thursday before an anachronistic UN committee charged with “decolonizing” the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar — at the same time as the 24-nation entity elected by acclamation the genocidal Syrian regime’s representative to a leadership post. “I commend this body’s contribution,” said Mr. Guterres.     UN Watch instead is calling on Mr. Guterres, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and the EU’s UN ambassadors to condemn the world body’s “absurd and morally obscene” election of Syria to a senior post on a decolonization committee that is charged with upholding fundamental human rights in opposing the “subjugation, domination and exploitation” of peoples — a propaganda victory that—like before—will be trumpeted by the Assad regime. Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja’afari (photo above) was re-elected as Rapporteur, February 22, 2018. The election of Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja’afari took place this afternoon in the 2018 opening session of the UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization. Chile and India Failed to Vote Like Democracies Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch, said that outgoing President Michele Bachelet of Chile should be “ashamed” that her country joined the consensus vote, as should India.  Both democracies sit on the 24-nation committee that elected the Assad regime’s candidate by acclamation.    UN Chief’s Moral Obligation to Speak Out “It is incomprehensible for the UN on one day to lament the Syrian regime’s killing and wounding of hundreds of thousands of Syrians—to declare the regime guilty of a “monstrous campaign of annihilation” of its own people—and to then hand this gift …

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UN Watch in City AM: “In light of the Haiti prostitution scandal, should Oxfam lose UK government funding?”
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 4:49 PM

(Source: City AM, “In light of the Haiti prostitution scandal, should Oxfam lose UK government funding?,” February 13, 2018) In light of the Haiti prostitution scandal, should Oxfam lose UK government funding? YES – Hillel Neuer, executive director of United Nations Watch Oxfam betrayed the very people it was meant to protect. And this isn’t just about a few bad apples. Before the organisation ever sent Roland van Hauwermeiren to be country director for Haiti – where he turned a villa rented by Oxfam into a brothel, sexually exploiting minors – officials knew of similar conduct by him and other Oxfam staffers in Chad. Similarly, when they finally removed van Hauwermeiren, Oxfam covered up his crimes, allowing the abuser to find work with another aid agency. Sadly, there have been many other sexual abuse scandals at Oxfam, as well as corruption and misuse of funds. The problem with international agencies, including the UN, is that there is no accountability. When Priti Patel served as International Development Secretary and tried to speak of abuses, the bureaucrats muzzled her, to protect the establishment. Oxfam’s funds have to be cut now – and only they are to blame. —— NO – Tamsyn Barton, chief executive of Bond The actions of a few cannot allow us to forget that Oxfam, their staff and foreign aid generally saves lives in some of the most difficult and dangerous contexts. The reported behaviour of NGO employees in Haiti is completely deplorable, but cutting funding to Oxfam would mean cutting aid to vulnerable women …

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UN Watch Condemns Venezuela Arrest of 85-year-old Activist
Friday, February 2, 2018 5:07 PM

GENEVA, February 2, 2018 – UN Watch, a Geneva-based monitoring group, condemned Venezuela for arresting an 85-year-old activist in the middle of last night, taken from his home in Caracas at 3:00 a.m. by security forces. Agents of the Sebin intelligence service have detained Enrique Aristeguieta Gramcko, an eminent lawyer, historian, and former politician who is active in two groups that have criticized the repressive Maduro regime. He is the president of the Great National Alliance (GANA), and a board member of Soy Venezuela. “Venezuela’s arbitrary detention of Mr. Aristeguieta Gramcko is a breach of due process, and violates the government’s basic obligations as a member of the UN Human Rights Council,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “We demand the immediate release of Mr. Aristeguieta Gramcko and all other political prisoners, and we call on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to speak out immediately to demand his freedom. We continue to demand an urgent session of the UNHRC to address ongoing gross and systematic abuses by Venezuela’s Maduro regime.” Mr. Aristeguieta Gramcko played a crucial role in the birth of Venezuelan democracy. He was a member of the Junta Patriotica, a congressman, ambassador to the Caribbean, deputy minister of home affairs, governor of the Nueva Esparta state, and president of the Supreme Electoral Council. He is a widely-respected figure in Venezuelan society, revered over many years for his tireless defense of political and civil liberties and democracy in Venezuela. There is currently no information about his whereabouts. …

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U.N. elects Turkey to oversee human rights activists, VP of Committee on NGOs
Thursday, February 1, 2018 7:56 AM

GENEVA, February 1, 2018 – The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the U.N. election of Turkey as Vice-Chair of the committee that accredits and oversees the work of non-governmental human rights groups at the world body, noting that the Erdogan regime arrests, jails and persecutes human rights activists, journalists and students. “Electing Turkey’s Erdogan regime to oversee the work of human rights activists at the U.N. is like picking the fox to guard the henhouse, as he is still wiping the feathers off his mouth from his last meal,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “This election is absurd, and casts a shadow upon the reputation of the United Nations as a whole,” said Neuer. The diplomat elected on January 29th to represent the Erdogan regime on the committee was Ceren Hande Özgür. “It underscores the degree to which this vital committee—which has the power to suspend the U.N. credentials of human rights groups—has been hijacked by the world’s worst dictatorships.” BREAKING: Turkey’s Erdogan regime, which arrests, jails & persecutes human rights activists, journalists, and dissidents, was just elected Vice-Chair of the @UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, which accredits & supervises the UN activity of human rights NGOs. pic.twitter.com/EVLizsGe33 — Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) January 30, 2018 Rogues’ Gallery Includes Iran, China, Russia, Turkey… Neuer noted that a majority of the committee’s 19 member states are regimes that are hostile to human rights activists, including Iran, Burundi, China, Cuba, Iran, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela. “Regrettably, while India and South Africa are democracies, …

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Nikki Haley to the Security Council: Where is the Palestinian Anwar Sadat?
Thursday, January 25, 2018 10:58 PM

Click here for YouTube. Full transcript: During the past year, as the representative of the United States, I have most often taken the position that this monthly session on the Middle East is miscast. As I’ve pointed out many times, this session spends far too much time on Israel and the Palestinians and far too little time on the terrorist regimes and groups that undermine peace and security in the region, chief among them Iran, ISIS, Hezbollah, and Hamas. That remains my view. And I expect that in future months I will continue to focus on those threats from the Middle East that draw too little attention at the UN. However, today I will set aside my usual practice. Today, I too will focus on the issue of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. What has changed? The events of the past month have shed light on a critical aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian problem, and it is important that we do not miss the opportunity here at the UN to bring attention to it. The aspect I will address is the single most critical element to achieving peace. No, it’s not the issues of security, borders, refugees, or settlements. All of those are important parts of a peace agreement. But the single most important element is not any of those. The indispensable element is leaders who have the will to do what’s needed to achieve peace. Real peace requires leaders who are willing to step forward, acknowledge hard truths, and make compromises. It requires leaders who …

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What’s Wrong With UNRWA and Why it Must be Reformed
Sunday, January 21, 2018 2:01 PM

In the flurry of press about UNRWA in the last weeks, much has been written and said about the U.N. Palestine refugee agency, both positive and negative. CLICK HERE FOR FULL TIMELINE AND PRESS COVERAGE UNRWA Perpetuates The So-Called “Right of Return” The real problem with the organization is evident from these two media quotes by Palestinians registered by UNRWA as refugees, yet who were born after 1948 and who never lived in British Mandatory Palestine or Israel: “I hold on to UNRWA because I hold on to my right of returning to Palestine,” Mohammad Afifi, 58-year-old shopkeeper born and raised in Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon. “Take everything and return us to our homes. We don’t want any assistance or anything, just return us to our country,” Ramy Mansour, a 34-year-old born and raised in Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, and who now lives in Lebanon. As Prime Minister Netanyahu aptly said while arguing for a gradual approach to phasing it out, “UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem, and perpetuates also the narrative of the so-called right of return, whose goal is the elimination of Israel. For these reasons, UNRWA should be shut down.” This is patently clear from the above quotes. UNRWA is painted by the media as a humanitarian agency which provides education, health care and social services to needy Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, as reported by Reuters, The Independent, The Los Angeles Times, and others. But as UNRWA expert Einat Wilf explains, …

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Nikki Haley on need for UNRWA reform, ‘dangerous’ Iran deal
Friday, January 19, 2018 6:35 PM

Click here for YouTube Video transcript: VAN SUSTEREN: “UNRWA — you’ve been very vocal in reducing the amount of contributions the United States makes, and this has to do with what goes on in much of the refugee camps in the Palestinian part of the world. What’s the end point on this?” HALEY: “Well, I think there’s a couple of things. We mentioned to UNRWA multiple times it needs to be reformed.” VAN SUSTEREN: “Reform, meaning? Because I know that Israel is unhappy with it thinking that it’s anti-Israeli and that it’s a fertile breeding ground for terrorism against Israel. Is the reform that way, or is the reform in sort of the bureaucracy and how it’s run and how it distributes the money, aid, to the camps?” HALEY: “I think we’re looking at overall reform. When we say that we’re basically lookingat the fact that you’ve got, basically they’re considering any Palestinian as a refugee. Looking at the fact that what they’re teaching in schools is not necessarily the right way to have things run. It is very top heavy from an administration standpoint. But also, the other side of that is again, we’re not going to reward bad behavior. Here you’ve got the Palestinians who are basically saying they’re going to cut the U.S. out of the peace process. They’re saying they no longer want to have anything to do with us. They go and take us to the United Nations and try, basically, are very hostile in what they say and what they do. We’re …

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Sick: U.N. delegates shower praise on genocidal Burundi regime
Thursday, January 18, 2018 6:57 PM

GENEVA, January 18, 2018 – Burundi and its allies attempted to whitewash the government’s terrible human rights record during a mandatory U.N. Human Rights Council review that all countries undergo once every five years at the world body. Delegates of the regime denied using torture or persecuting human rights defenders, and blamed “Belgian colonizers” for flaws in Burundi’s justice system. While Burundi’s record includes police killings of peaceful protesters, summary executions, targeted assassinations, enforced disappearances, and even warnings of possible genocide, Burundi was elected a little over a year ago as a member of the UNHRC, and was heavily praised today by numerous states who took the floor. Following are some of the statements delivered today at the UNHRC: Iran: “We commend significant initiatives taken by the government… my delegation acknowledges that in spite of challenges and obstacles that the government faces, several acts on the protection of human rights have been promulgated by the government.” Syria: “We are pleased to see Burundi’s perseverance following its first two reviews. This reflects the government’s determination to implement recommendations accepted despite challenges and difficulties faced.’’ Venezuela: “We recognize the country’s efforts to follow up on recommendations from the UPR.’’ Russia: “We appreciate the work of the government in the areas of ensuring social and economic rights of people in the country.’’ State of Palestine: “We welcome the efforts taken by Burundi to improve the human rights situation since its last UPR session, despite difficulties the country has faced.’’ Indonesia: “Appreciates the progress that Burundi has made since its last review, …

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Baroness Deech blasts the UNHRC in the British House of Lords
Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:47 PM

Transcript: I fear that these excellent intentions may not achieve much, because at the apex of all international effort lies the UN Human Rights Council, a body now so perverted that it no longer makes sense to support it. What is the use of the UK lobbying other countries and supporting UN resolutions on religious persecution when the UNHRC is peopled with representatives of the most egregious offenders? My Lords, Iraq is a member of the UNHRC, along with Saudi Arabia, China and Venezuela, to mention just a few of them. When Iraq campaigned for membership of the UNHRC they cited in support the happy condition of the Christian minority. In China, 1.3 billion people are denied freedom of speech, assembly and religion. Tibetans are occupied and tortured. In Russia, dissidents are harassed, arrested and assassinated. Crimea is annexed and Ukraine bombarded. In Saudi Arabia beheadings are at an all-time high. They bomb Yemeni civilians. The response of the UNHRC is largely silence and the welcoming as members of those atrocious states. Only one country is permanently on the agenda of the UNHRC and that is Israel, targeted by the Arab members in an effort to deflect attention from themselves. Earlier this year our Government, thankfully, became a torch-bearer for the truth. The British mission blasted the UN body as biased and overly focused on Israel. The UNHRC has breath-taking double standards and is outrageously biased against the only country in the Middle East whose Christian population has grown, namely Israel. It is time to call out the hypocrisy of …

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Farce: Meet 2018 Membership of U.N. Human Rights Council
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:00 PM

  Meet the 2018 membership of the U.N. Human Rights Council, elected by the United Nations with the mandate to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights“: Democratic Republic of Congo Expertise in human rights: President remains in power in violation of constitution as democratic elections postponed; suppression of opposition; torture; arbitrary arrests and prolonged detention; civil war; extrajudicial killings and massacres by government forces; violence against women; child soldiers. Qatar Expertise in human rights: Exploitation and abuse of 2 million migrant workers in Qatar; no political parties; women subjected to discrimination and denied basic rights to equality, denied right to be elected to legislative council; finances ISIS and Hamas. Saudi Arabia Expertise in human rights: Death sentences for apostasy and adultery; corporal punishment including flogging and amputation; judiciary controlled by regime; beheading more peoeple than ever before; arbitrary arrests of dissenters and minorities; no freedom of speech; jails blogger Raif Badawi. Venezuela Expertise in human rights: Widespread arbitrary detention; imprisonment of opposition leaders; intimidation of journalists; torture; policies causing mass hunger and health catastrophe. China Expertise in human rights: Denial of freedom of speech, religion, and association; extrajudicial killings; repression of civil society; discrimination against Tibetans and other minorities. Cuba Expertise in human rights: Systematic violation of freedom of speech, assembly, press; elections are neither free nor fair; threats and violence against dissidents. Iraq Expertise in human rights: Pro-government militias commit widespread human rights abuses, including assassinations, enforced disappearances, property destruction. Burundi Expertise in human rights: Police killings of peaceful protesters; government forces commit summary executions, targeted assassinations, enforced disappearances; …

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