PRESS RELEASE

GENEVA, Nov. 21 – Following are quotes from Hillel Neuer, UN Watch executive director, on the UN General Assembly Third Committee votes Monday on resolutions condemning human rights abuses in North Korea, Burma and Iran.  For additional quotes and comments, please call Hillel Neuer at (646) 450-2860.

On the question of “country specific” voting:

“The successful passage of the three resolutions masks the fact that large swaths of the United Nations opposed the measures or abstained from the votes, with most saying they did so because they are against resolutions that focus on a single country,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch.

“But these countries are being completely hypocritical because they are the same ones who annually sponsor or support 20 one-sided resolutions against Israel in the UN General Assembly, having made a virtual cottage industry of passing ‘country specific’ resolutions against the Jewish state.”

On Afghanistan’s vote to support Iran:

“People in many Western countries with troops in Afghanistan may be alarmed to note that, after all the blood and treasure expended there to help that country build a democracy, it continues to vote with Iran in opposing the Western-led effort to denounce the Islamic Republic for ­– in the words of one of the resolution’s sponsors – a ‘continued deterioration’ in Iran’s human rights record,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch.

General: Who’s not scrutinized

“Of course it’s commendable that the UN would – albeit by a stunted majority – again pass resolutions that highlight gross human rights violations in North Korea, Burma and the Iran,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch.

“But though there’ll be an additional resolution on Syrian human rights violations on Tuesday, we regret that the General Assembly continues to overlook a host of other pressing human rights situations, not least in China, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Russia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.”

Indeed, UN Watch led a coalition of high-profile dissidents and human rights activist groups recently to compile “model” resolutions of the human rights situations in those countries as well as in Syria. The drafts were submitted to UN General Assembly members for their consideration in time for the current round of Third Committee meetings.

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