The shame that’s called The UN Human Rights Council – None so blind as a UN human rights expert!

Den mycket långvariga och fortlöpande skandalen som i sin nuvarande ”omstöpta” form kallas The UN Human Rights Council fortsätter. Nå här kommer ett nytt kapitel av deras eminenta utnämningar av personer som har varit rådgivare åt mass slaktare som Mengistu, upprättat ”Muammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize” tillsammans med diktatorn Khaddafi och detta kort efter Lockerbie attentat där Libyen sprängde 260 människor (inklusive den svenske diplomaten Bernt Carlsson) ombord på Pan Am flight 103.

En sammanhållande tema för alla dessa diktaturälskare är att de bokstavligen hatar USA, och Israel förståss. ALLA ANDRA regeringar och länder får slakta sina egna och andras folk hur mycket som helst – inte ett PIP hörs!

Ett bättre och mer passande namn vore ”Diktaturkramarnas och apologeternas klubb för inbördes beundran”. Till denna perverterade organisation bidrar Sverige med en hel del pengar. Och våra kära politiker och journalister fortsätter glatt att sjunga FN: s lov i alla väder.

Några citat:

”The gist of it was this: whereas Falk’s outgoing predecessor as investigator into Israeli conduct, on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council, had only compared Israel to apartheid South Africa, the new man had gone one better and compared it with Nazi Germany. Actually, he’d done this some time ago, before being appointed, but now, of course, his view mattered more. ”UN expert stands by Nazi comments” was the headline on the BBC News website.”

”For six years, Mr. Ziegler has systematically abused his mandate as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, neglecting many of the world’s food emergencies in order to pursue an extremist political agenda that includes support for repressive rulers like Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Libyan Colonel Muammar Khaddafi. Mr. Ziegler’s tenure, which is set to expire shortly, embodied everything that was discredited about the old Commission on Human Rights:  gross politicization, selectivity, lack of professionalism and lack of credibility.”

In 1989, shortly after the Libyan bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that killed 260 innocent men, women and children, Jean Ziegler announced the establishment of the ”Muammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize,”  in cooperation with the Libyan dictator.  (”Le Nobel de Khadhafi-Les autorités libyennes créent un nouveau prix des droits de l’homme; Jean Ziegler met la main à la pate,” L’Hebdo, April 27, 1989.)

This award was then used to celebrate recipients such as Roger Garaudy, a notorious Holocaust denier.  Yet Mr. Ziegler never renounced his actions.  On the contrary: Mr. Ziegler himself won the prize in 2002. After a public outcry caused him to declare that he would not accept the award, Mr. Ziegler refused to acknowledge the obscenity of receiving a prize named after a human rights criminal”

”What is worse, however, is to nominate Mr. Ziegler now-after witnessing the gross abuse of his UN mandate.  As you know, this past July Mr. Ziegler became the only UN human rights expert in history to be denounced by his own organization’s highest officials.  (”Annan slams UN official,” JTA, July 8, 2005; ”Gaza comments by rights expert irresponsible – UN,” Reuters, July 7, 2005.)  Both Secretary-General Annan and High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour publicly denounced Mr. Ziegler    for having compared Israelis to Nazis, a classic manifestation of anti-Semitism as defined by the European Union.

Mr. Ziegler’s record of UN abuse is well known:”

”Jean Ziegler almost never criticizes any government other than the U.S. and Israel. When he does, he suddenly dons the gloves of ginger U.N. diplomacy. Hence the Sudanese atrocities in Darfur for Ziegler are merely a cause for ”concern,” the role of the Khartoum regime in atrocities only ”alleged.” By contrast, the United States is an ”imperialist dictatorship” responsible for all the world’s misery, the U.S. is committing ”genocide” in Cuba, and Israel commits ”state terror” and ”war crimes” with the U.S.’s blessing. Mr. Ziegler has never used such denunciations against the government of Sudan, or any other country.”

Artikeln finns här:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23557033-7583,00.html

Protesterna mot utnämningen av Jean Ziegler finns här:

http://www.unwatch.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=bdKKISNqEmG&b=1316871&ct=2170399

 Läs även andra bloggares åsikter om <a href=”http://bloggar.se/om/Fri-+och+r%E4ttigheter” rel=”tag”>Fri- och rättigheter</a>, <a href=”http://bloggar.se/om/Yttrandefrihet.” rel=”tag”>Yttrandefrihet.</a>

None so blind as a UN human rights expert

David Aaronovitch | April 18, 2008

I WOULD define a moment of double respect as being when, say, the Pope addresses both houses of Congress or – as happened again last week – when that great institution the BBC quotes an expert from that even greater institution, the UN.

The official in question was also the professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, Richard Falk, and his chosen subject was Israel, so I bowed slightly, turned the tap off and put down my razor to hear what he had been saying.

The gist of it was this: whereas Falk’s outgoing predecessor as investigator into Israeli conduct, on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council, had only compared Israel to apartheid South Africa, the new man had gone one better and compared it with Nazi Germany. Actually, he’d done this some time ago, before being appointed, but now, of course, his view mattered more. ”UN expert stands by Nazi comments” was the headline on the BBC News website.

For various reasons Israelis take badly to being compared with the people who attempted to eradicate Jewish life in Europe and I understood Falk’s remarks to have been provocative, as he admitted.

He had made them, he explained, to wake the US ”from its torpor”. Speaking about Gaza, Falk said that only the sensitivity of Jewish people prevented the parallel being observed more widely.

”If this kind of situation had existed, for instance, in the manner in which China was dealing with Tibet or the Sudanese government was dealing with Darfur, I think there would be no reluctance to make that comparison,” he said.

In international terms, this is odd. The body for whom Falk will soon begin work (work that is hardly necessary since he already knows exactly what he thinks before undertaking a moment’s UN-authorised monitoring) is famous for its excoriation of Israel and its comparative silence over Tibet and Darfur. Kofi Annan criticised them for it before his departure, Ban Ki-moon criticised them for it on his arrival. All to no avail. The council’s website begins with a page entitled Highlights, on which only one country’s human rights violations are mentioned by name. And it isn’t Andorra.

So what did the 40-plus members of the council see in Falk? As far as I can tell his attraction lies in the following. He is American, he is Jewish and, more deliciously in light of the first two, he blames Israel for just about everything, as opposed to those who (rightly, in my opinion) blame it for quite a lot. This, for example, is Falk in 2002, on the second intifada: ”Palestinian resistance gradually ran out of military options and suicide bombers appeared as the only means still available by which to inflict sufficient harm on Israel so that the struggle could go on.”

There are three problems with this analysis. The first is that suicide bombing began in Israel in 1994, when Hamas saw the Oslo peace process as threatening to succeed. Second, the suicide bombs were obviously utterly counterproductive in terms of procuring peace and indeed helped to destroy the Israeli peace movement. And, third, other resistances (Tibet, Darfur?) seem to have avoided the only means of suicide bombing aimed at civilians: family restaurants, buses, schools, discos and groups of teenagers, to be more specific.

For Falk ”Israel was mainly responsible”. It was transparently this political position that led to him being appointed to his job; not his expertise or his open-mindedness. Neither was it his common sense, as we now know. In my library of conspiriana are several books by American theologian David Ray Griffin, intellectual guru of the ”Bush blew up the twin towers” movement. Griffin believes that no plane hit the Pentagon (despite hundreds of people seeing it) and that the World Trade Centre was brought down by a controlled demolition. There isn’t a single point of alleged fact on which Griffin‘s barking theory hasn’t been demolished. And there isn’t a single volume of Griffin that doesn’t carry Falk’s endorsement.

This journey reaches its depressing climax in a chapter written by Falk for Griffin’s 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out. Following on from the pseudo-scientific blah about the heat at which steel bends (all of which stuff Falk describes as possessing ”high credibility”) the UN expert-official opines that part of the evidence that there was conspiracy is that so many people say there wasn’t. Or in intellectualese: ”Momentous suspicious events bearing on the legitimacy of the process of governance in the US have been consistently shielded from mainstream inquiry by being reinscribed as the wild fantasies of ‘conspiracy theorists’ … The management of suspicion is itself suspicious.” As you can see, because I believe that Falk, like Griffin, has taken leave of what remained of his senses, this column is part of the sinister plot.

Well, we’ll have to cope because there is something bigger at stake. It’s this: let’s say, for one moment, that the objective of the Human Rights Council was to improve human rights in, let’s further say, the occupied territories. Would you employ someone who has made utterances that ensure that all of Israeli public opinion – including that part critical of its Government – would unite 100 per cent to resist him? Of course you wouldn’t.

The implication of this logic is simple. The UN Human Rights Council doesn’t give a toss about the human rights of the Palestinians in the sense of wanting them upheld. Its majority is far more interested in using Israel as a stick to beat the US with or – in the case of Islamic states – as a bogeyman to damp down domestic discontent.

But what is even more amazing is that some Western countries agree to play this game. Three weeks ago the Swiss, using a glossy brochure, persuaded the council by 40 votes to seven to elect Jean Ziegler to its advisory committee. Ziegler is an apologist for Fidel Castro and Muammar Gaddafi, a former associate of Ethiopian dictator Haile Mariam Mengistu, a defender of Robert Mugabe (who, he said, had ”history and morality with him”), a visitor to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-il, and an admirer of French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.

Do I need to add that he is also an outspoken critic of US imperialism and of Israel? I invite – and would enjoy reading – the Swiss ambassador’s defence of his country’s nomination, but it’s time to draw a conclusion. I believe in the UN, but we must stop regarding it as though it were some kind of moral arbiter, doing right in a world of wrong. Because, unfortunately, the term UN expert means neither good nor expert. It can mean warped and stupid.

David Aaronovitch is a columnist with The Times.

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UN Rights Council to Appoint ”Khaddafi Human Rights Prize” Founder

Victims Groups and NGOs Protest Swiss Nomination and Upcoming Election of Jean Ziegler

Geneva, Apr. 11, 2006 –   An international coalition of 15 human rights groups including former political prisoners and torture victims in Libya and Cuba expressed outrage today over Switzerland‘s nomination of Jean Ziegler, founder of the ”Muammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize,” as an expert for the UN’s new Human Rights Council.

In a letter presented today to the Swiss UN Mission in Geneva, Libya Watch for Human Rights, Mothers and Women against Cuban Repression, Hope for Africa — as well as 12 other organizations from Switzerland, India, Thailand, and the U.S. –– said that Mr. Ziegler’s current term as UN hunger expert ”embodied everything that was discredited about the old Commission on Human Rights:  gross politicization, selectivity, lack of professionalism and lack of credibility.”  Ziegler has been accused of paying little or no attention to regions with actual hunger crises, and instead devoting his attention to polemics against the West, capitalism,  the US, and Israel.

In 1989 he founded the ”Muammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize,” used to award recipients like Roger Garaudy, a convicted French Holocaust denier. In 2002, Ziegler himself  was awarded the prize, for which he traveled to Tripoli, Libya.

This past July, the former Swiss politician became the only UN human rights expert in history to be condemned by his own organization’s highest officials. Both Secretary-General Kofi Annan and High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour denounced Mr. Ziegler after he compared Israelis to concentration camp guards, as did 70 U.S. members of Congress and the government of Canada.

But with Ziegler’s Socialist Party and other sympathizers in influential circles, Switzerland, according to a UN document recently circulated in Geneva, has nominated him as one of the Western Group’s experts for the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, a body now under the UN’s new Human Rights Council. One of the Council’s first steps in June is expected to be the appointment of Ziegler and the other nominees.

”It’s scandalous,” said Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, a Swiss non-governmental organization that monitors the UN out of Geneva, and one of the signatories to the letter.  ”Last week,” said Neuer, ”I met in Geneva with a group of former Cuban political prisoners who were tortured for over 20 years by the Castro regime. How do you think they feel after learning that the man who swears ‘total support for the Cuban revolution’ is to be rewarded by the UN’s new Human Rights Council?  Ziegler’s nomination by Switzerland, and imminent election by the UN, mocks the suffering of victims of the Libyan and Cuban regimes supported by Ziegler.”

Neuer said that the nomination ”also mocks the hundreds of thousands of victims killed by the regime of Ethiopia‘s genocidal dictator  Mengistu, for whom Ziegler served as an adviser. In an obscene irony, Ziegler’s support for a regime that exacerbated famine as a political weapon was, thanks to Castro-sponsored resolutions, followed by his naming as a UN expert on — of all things — hunger.”

With this new appointment,” said Neuer, ”those of us urging the U.S. to join and make the best of the UN’s new Human Rights Council now stand to be undercut by the UN itself.”

The full text of the letter follows below.

___________________

April 11, 2006

Ambassador Blaise Godet

Permanent Mission of Switzerland

to the United Nations Office and to

the other international organisations in Geneva

Rue de Varembé 9-11 (6th floor)

CH – 1211 Geneva 20

Geneva, Switzerland

Re:  NGO Statement Opposing the Nomination of Jean Ziegler to a New UN Post

Dear Ambassador Godet,

We, the undersigned human rights activists and non-governmental organizations, are gravely concerned to learn that Switzerland has nominated Jean Ziegler – founder of the ”Muammar Khaddafi Prize for Human Rights”- for the position of expert on the UN Sub-Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.  For the sake of human rights victims world-wide, and to avoid casting a shadow upon the reputation and credibility of the United Nations as a whole- particularly its new Human Rights Council, which is supported by Switzerland – we strongly urge your Government to rescind its decision.

For six years, Mr. Ziegler has systematically abused his mandate as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, neglecting many of the world’s food emergencies in order to pursue an extremist political agenda that includes support for repressive rulers like Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Libyan Colonel Muammar Khaddafi. Mr. Ziegler’s tenure, which is set to expire shortly, embodied everything that was discredited about the old Commission on Human Rights:  gross politicization, selectivity, lack of professionalism and lack of credibility.  (See ”Blind to Burundi: Jean Ziegler’s Neglect of the World’s Food Emergencies,” UN Watch report, October 2004.)

Mr. Ziegler has a long and notorious record of supporting dictators and human rights violators.  It is therefore difficult to understand why he was ever appointed to a UN post in the first place:

Mr. Ziegler’s support and special affinity for totalitarian rulers has been documented by Dr. Jan Marejko, the Swiss philosopher and journalist:  ”[Ziegler] went to Hanoi during the ’80s, where he heaped praise upon General Vo Nguyen Giap and had kind words for Ho Chi Minh with whom he spent ‘unforgettable moments drinking tea under a golden sun’. . . The fact that hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese were at this time desperately trying to escape their country in search of freedom […] was not worthy of consideration. Indeed, it would be hard to find an intellectual more stained by collaboration with evil regimes in the 20th century than Mr. Ziegler.” (J. Marejko, ”Che Guevara Lives at the UN,” August 2002.)

In 1989, shortly after the Libyan bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that killed 260 innocent men, women and children, Jean Ziegler announced the establishment of the ”Muammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize,”  in cooperation with the Libyan dictator.  (”Le Nobel de Khadhafi-Les autorités libyennes créent un nouveau prix des droits de l’homme; Jean Ziegler met la main à la pate,” L’Hebdo, April 27, 1989.)

This award was then used to celebrate recipients such as Roger Garaudy, a notorious Holocaust denier.  Yet Mr. Ziegler never renounced his actions.  On the contrary: Mr. Ziegler himself won the prize in 2002. After a public outcry caused him to declare that he would not accept the award, Mr. Ziegler refused to acknowledge the obscenity of receiving a prize named after a human rights criminal. Rather, he said, ”I told my Libyan interlocutors that I could not accept an award or distinction from any country because of my responsibilities at the United Nations.”

What is worse, however, is to nominate Mr. Ziegler now-after witnessing the gross abuse of his UN mandate.  As you know, this past July Mr. Ziegler became the only UN human rights expert in history to be denounced by his own organization’s highest officials.  (”Annan slams UN official,” JTA, July 8, 2005; ”Gaza comments by rights expert irresponsible – UN,” Reuters, July 7, 2005.)  Both Secretary-General Annan and High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour publicly denounced Mr. Ziegler    for having compared Israelis to Nazis, a classic manifestation of anti-Semitism as defined by the European Union.

Mr. Ziegler’s record of UN abuse is well known:

During the first four years of his mandate, Jean Ziegler publicly criticized the U.S. on 34 occasions. Yet he never spoke out for the hungry or criticized any party in 15 of 17 countries deemed by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization to have a man-made food emergency. And of the 2 food emergency countries that he did criticize, he only did so once with respect to one (Ethiopia) and three times with respect to the other (Sudan). (Food emergencies ignored: Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Guinea, Haiti, Liberia, Russian Federation (Chechnya), Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda)

Jean Ziegler almost never criticizes any government other than the U.S. and Israel. When he does, he suddenly dons the gloves of ginger U.N. diplomacy. Hence the Sudanese atrocities in Darfur for Ziegler are merely a cause for ”concern,” the role of the Khartoum regime in atrocities only ”alleged.” By contrast, the United States is an ”imperialist dictatorship” responsible for all the world’s misery, the U.S. is committing ”genocide” in Cuba, and Israel commits ”state terror” and ”war crimes” with the U.S.’s blessing. Mr. Ziegler has never used such denunciations against the government of Sudan, or any other country.

In summary, the appointment of Mr. Ziegler would cause grievous harm to the new Human Rights Council.  As a strong advocate of the Council, we respectfully urge Switzerland to rescind its nomination of Mr. Ziegler for this or any other UN position.

Sincerely,

Mohamed Abdulmalek

President

Libya Watch for Human Rights

Manchester, United Kingdom

Libya Human Rights Solidarity

Geneva, Switzerland

Sylvia Iriondo

President

Madres y Mujeres Anti-Represion por Cuba

(Mothers & Women against Repression)

Miami, United States

 Angel De Fana

Director

Plantados Until Freedom and Democracy in Cuba

Miami, United States

 Vo Van Ai

President

Vietnam Committee on Human Rights

Paris, France

 

Charles Mwape

Regional Director for Africa

Hope for Africa International

Lusaka, Zambia

 

Hillel Neuer

Executive Director

UN Watch

Geneva, Switzerland

 

Patrick Gaubert

President

International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism

(Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme)

Paris, France

 

Jose Mathew

Executive Director

Don Bosco Ahaylam

New Delhi, India

 

Wendy Wright

President

Concerned Women for America

Washington, DC, United States

 

Babette Francis

National & Overseas Coordinator

Endeavor Forum

Sydney, Australia

 

Virginia Swain

Director

Institute for Global Leadership

Worcester, Massachusetts, United States

 

Yolanda L. Jackson

International Liaison

Women’s Sports Foundation

New York, United States

 

Simonne Piazzini

UN Representative

Towns Agency for North-South Cooperation

(Agence des cités pour la coopération Nord-Sud)

Geneva, Switzerland

 

Kok Ksor

President

Montagnard Foundation

Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States

 

Naghma Imdad

Executive Director

Savera

Islamabad, Pakistan

 

John Suarez

Director

Cuban Democratic Directorate

Miami, United States

 

Ms Sally Thompson

Deputy Executive Director

Thailand Burma Border Consortium

Bangkok, Thailand

 

Sara Winkowski

President

International Council of Jewish Women

Montevideo, Uruguay

 

C. Gwendolyn Landolt

National Vice President

REAL Women of Canada

Ottawa, Canada

 

Bernice Dubois

Board Member

European Council of WIZO Federations

Geneva, Switzerland

 

cc:     UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan

          UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour

          The Right Honourable Mr. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada

 

——————————————————————————–

UN Watch is a Geneva-based human rights organization founded in 1993 to monitor UN compliance with the principles of its Charter. It is accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information.

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