PRESS RELEASE

GENEVA, Dec. 20 – Today the U.N. General Assembly adopted its annual resolutions on the human rights situations in Iran, Syria, North Korea and Burma. Following are comments by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer:

ON THE IRAN RESOLUTION
“UN Watch supports this strong resolution in which the U.N. places on record and condemns the Iranian regime’s ‘serious ongoing and recurring’ violations of human rights.”

“We commend Canada for once again leading the U.N.’s annual resolution documenting Tehran’s continuing abuse of the human rights of its children, women, religious and ethnic minorities and human rights activists,” said Neuer.

“Today’s resolution is necessary but not sufficient. Together with Iranian human rights defenders, UN Watch calls on the Human Rights Council to finally convene a much-needed special session on the situation in Iran. We still need to see a full U.N. investigation of Iran’s bloody crackdown in June 2009 which followed protests against fraudulent elections.”

“Moreover, recalling that an all-party committee of Canada’s parliament has found that the Iranian regime has committed incitement to genocide in breach of the Genocide Convention, in calling for the destruction of a U.N. member state, Israel, all nations signatory to that treaty are obliged under international law to take action.”

ON THE SYRIA RESOLUTION
“UN Watch welcomes today’s resolution on Syria, where a ruthless regime has already massacred 40,000 of its own people and the blood continues to flow, but the U.N. must do far more to both send the right message, and to make a real difference,” said Neuer.

“It is high time for Russia and China to stop shielding Assad, and for the Security Council to exercise its responsibility and take real action to end the horrifying slaughter.”

“Moreover, the U.N.’s credibility on the situation of human rights in Syria is undermined so long as the murderous Assad regime continues to sits as a member of the human rights committee of UNESCO, the U.N.’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.”

UN Watch leads a coalition of 55 members of parliament, pro-democracy dissidents, human rights NGOs and religious groups that are demanding that UNESCO reverse its inexplicable election of Syria in November 2011.

ON THE NORTH KOREA RESOLUTION
“Today’s resolution today rightly notes that North Korea is committing ‘systematic, widespread and grave’ violations of human rights, including against society’s most vulnerable groups: women, children, people with disabilities and the elderly.”

“But what the human rights community wants to see is a full U.N. commission of inquiry, based out of New York or the Human Rights Council in Geneva, to investigate the unconscionable crimes being committed in North Korea’s dark gulag of prison camps.”

To call attention to the massive atrocities being committed there against tens of thousands of victims, UN Watch and 20 other human rights groups will be bringing Shin Dong-Hyuk, the only person known to have escaped from such a camp, to testify before the 5th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, days before the Human Rights Council opens its session in February 2013.

ON THE BURMA (MYANMAR) RESOLUTION
“While UN Watch welcomes the progress made in Burma, we are concerned that today’s resolution is replete with praise for the government’s ‘engagement’ and ‘commitment’ when in fact there remain many ongoing and serious human rights abuses. The excessive deference in the text is inconsistent with other U.N. human rights resolutions and threatens to downplay Burma’s ongoing abuses, such as its detention of numerous political prisoners, and the persecution of the minority Rohingya Muslims, with more than 100,000 members of this community already displaced from their homes.”

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