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Oral Statement by United Nations Watch
Agenda Item 2 General Debate
UN Human Rights Council, 38th Session
Delivered by Mr. Hillel Neuer, 19 June 2018
Mr. Chair, we thank the High Commissioner for his update, and we fully support what he said: “The UN’s raison d’être is the protection of peace, rights, justice and social progress.”
And so today we ask: Is the UN upholding this noble mission?
When the Islamic Republic of Iran, which arrests brave Iranian women for the crime of not wearing a Hijab, is elected to the board of UN Women — the entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls — is the UN upholding its mission?
When in the space of only one year, Saudi Arabia is rewarded for its subjugation of women with a seat on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, then on the Executive Board of UN Women, and just now on the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, is the UN upholding its mission?
When President Erdogan’s Turkey, which persecutes human rights activists and throws journalists in prison, wins election to the UN Committee on NGOs — the body that oversees the UN activities of human rights groups worldwide — is the UN upholding its mission?
When the co-founder of the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize, and his sponsor, Cuba, are elected repeatedly to this Human Rights Council, is the UN upholding its mission?
And as we speak, in this very building, when genocidal Syria holds the gavel as President of the UN-backed Conference on Disarmament, is the UN upholding its founding mission?
No, Mr. President: Allowing Syria to chair the body that produced the Chemical Weapons Convention, even as Assad gasses his own people, is like putting a serial rapist in charge of a women’s shelter.
I thank you, Mr. President.