July 5-9, 2013: Sudanese Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman chaired meetings of the UN Economic and Social Council, including on human rights. (UN Photo)

Despite its leader being indicted for racist genocide, Sudan over the past week chaired meetings of a top UN body that oversees human rights commissions.

As a Vice-President of the UN Economic and Social Council, Sudanese Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman was in Geneva to chair the “coordination segment” of ECOSOC’s annual session, including a panel debate on “Using Human Rights instruments and ILO standards and recommendations to achieve decent work for all.”

When Sudan was elected in January as Vice-President, UN Watch, together with film star Mia Farrow, objected. In February, UN Watch again sounded the alarm when Sudan was chosen to chair the humanitarian meetings of the current ECOSOC session.  This sparked official protests by the US, Canada and the EU, even as some of their representatives made sure to downplay the issue. A compromise deal was hatched: Pakistan was made chair of the humanitarian segment, and Sudan got the other role. It was revolting to see a murderous regime on the dais.

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