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Testimony at the UN

Calling for a Special Session on Kyrgyzstan 

UN Watch Statement
UN Human Rights Council, 14th Session, 16 June 2010
Item 10: Technical assistance and capacity-building
Delivered by Maile Miller

Mr. President, UN Watch welcomes the draft resolution concerning Kyrgyzstan.

The humanitarian situation there is grave and gathering, as minority Uzbeks have been viciously targeted by violent mobs over the past week. The country’s second-largest city, Osh, now lies in smoldering ruins.

According to the Red Cross, several hundred have been killed, and thousands injured, many with gunshot wounds. Dysentery is spreading among children at makeshift refugee camps. Hundreds of thousands have fled the violence, and are living in squalid conditions without food or shelter.

UN Watch is alarmed by credible reports that the violence was orchestrated, deliberately ignited to undermine the interim government.

Mr. President, in the face of this dire human rights emergency, why has this Council not called a Special Session?

We urge the Council to do so immediately, in order to focus international attention on the plight of the victims.

We are also disappointed that the draft resolution fails to create the mandate of an independent expert to monitor the human rights situation in Kyrgyzstan, and that it fails to establish an international inquiry to investigate the gross human rights violations that have occurred. If we do not have accountability mechanisms, victims will pay the price.

Mr. President, UN Watch also wishes to express its support for the draft resolution addressing attacks on school children in Afghanistan, particularly girls. We find these attacks to be abhorrent, and call on all political and religious leaders to strongly condemn them.

In this regard, we recognize the critical work of Dr. Massouda Jalal. Her foundation educates and trains women in Afghanistan, to heal from post-war trauma, and promotes peace and women’s rights. For her inspiring work, UN Watch recently honored Dr. Jalal with its Morris B. Abram Human Rights Award for 2010. We call on all stakeholders to provide every assistance to Dr. Jalal, so that she may continue her vital work.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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