UN Watch Condemns Election of Dictators to the UN Human Rights Council
“Credibility of UN Rights Council at stake,” says UN Watch
* Major blow: Failure of Russia to get elected
“The UN’s election of Saudi Arabia as a world judge on human rights is like a town picking a pyromaniac to be the fire chief,” said Neuer.
However, a positive outcome of today’s vote was Russia’s failure to get elected. Russia only got 112 votes, coming third behind Hungary with 144 votes and Croatia with 114 votes. The East European Group had three candidates for two positions.
The result on Russia comes at the heels of a persistent UN Watch campaign to oppose the election of dictators to the UN’s top human rights body. An op-ed by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer opposing Russia’s candidacy was published in today’s New York Daily News, ahead of the UN vote.
“The non-election of Russia shows that the nations of the world can reject gross abusers if they so choose. This makes the election of Saudi Arabia, China and Cuba even more preposterous,” said Neuer.
UN Watch led the campaign this year with a coalition of NGOs to oppose the re-election of Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and Cuba, as well as the new election bids of Egypt, Iraq and Rwanda, by lobbying governments, and through online petitions, high profile parliamentary events, UN press conferences, university lectures, YouTube videos, and op-eds in the Washington Post and other major newspapers.
A 21-page joint NGO report published by UN Watch, Human Rights Foundation and the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, and circulated to UN diplomats, deemed China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and Rwanda, as “Not Qualified” under the U.N.’s own membership criteria. The qualifications of Guatemala, South Africa and Tunisia were deemed “questionable” based on problematic human right records or in their UN voting records.