UN Watch Rips UN Human Rights Council for
“Year of Inaction & Double Standards”

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As the UN Human Rights Council completed its 4th year, delegates heard testimony from UN Watch on the past 12 months of council reactions to violations worldwide.

The Past Year: Inaction and Double Standards
UN Human Rights Council, 14th Session,
Delivered by Executive Director Hillel Neuer, 15 June 2010

Mr. President, in Article 1 of the Vienna Declaration, the States assembled here committed to protect all human rights. Is the Council living up to this obligation? Focusing thematically on the right to life, let us consider one example from each of the past 12 months:

• June 2009—Tehran. Hundreds of thousands gather peacefully to protest a questionable election. The government responds with brutality. Dozens are killed, hundreds injured, thousands arrested.
• July—China. Troops fire on Uighur protesters; 200 killed, 1700 injured.
• August—Russia. Two aid workers killed in Chechnya, government complicity suspected.
• September—Yemen. Government warplanes bomb a refugee camp, killing 80.

This Council’s response? Silence.

• October—Iraq. A terrorist attacks a mosque, killing the imam and 14 others.
• November—The Phillipines. Fifty-seven opposition activists massacred.
• December—Iran. Renewed protests meet with bullets, beatings and arrests; 10 killed.
• January—Pakistan. One hundred and eighty-two civilians killed in 42 attacks.

This Council’s response? Silence.

• February—Afghanistan. A Taliban attack kills 18, injuring 32, including doctors.
• March—Nigeria. 500 Christians slaughtered in religious killings.
• April—Kyrgyzstan. Troops fire on demonstrators; 84 killed.
• Finally, May. Libya executes 18 foreigners, without due process.

Mr. President, faced with these and other gross violations of the Vienna Declaration, what was this council’s standard response? Silence. No resolutions; no urgent sessions; no investigations. Nothing.

Yet two weeks ago, when Israel defended itself against violent Jihadists on the so-called humanitarian flotilla, we witnessed another standard—a double standard.

Suddenly the council sprang into action, with an urgent debate, a resolution condemning Israel, and yet another investigation where the guilty verdict was declared in advance.

Meanwhile, in this session, not a single resolution has been adopted for 191 other countries.

Mr. President, is the right to life, as guaranteed under the Vienna Declaration, being protected?

No—on the contrary. And millions of victims are paying the price.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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