Video from U.N. Debate This Week: UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer asked the U.N. Human Rights Council why it ignored the hundreds massacred this week in Kyrgyzstan and the humanitarian crisis there, and instead devoted the session to bashing Israel:
UN Watch Testimony
“Agenda Item 7: Human rights situation in
Palestine & other occupied Arab territories”
Delivered by Hillel Neuer, 14 June 2010
Mr. President, we meet under the agenda item targeting Israel. There are two things terribly wrong with this disproportionate focus.
First, it is biased. After the item was adopted in 2007, the UK said “the practice of ‘singling out one’ risked undermining the Human Rights Council’s own principles.” France said it was “contrary to non-selectivity.” Canada noted that the Council breached its own principles-of universality, impartiality, objectivity, and non-selectivity. Targeting any UN member state, said Canada, was “politicized, selective, partial, and subjective.”
But Mr. President, there is something far more pernicious that ought to concern all supporters of human rights.
On 20 June 2007, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized “the Council’s decision to single out only one specific regional item, given the range of human rights violations throughout the entire world.”
These words were never more clear than today.
For the second time in this brief session, we have spent the entire day today discussing alleged violations of Israel, hearing various reports about redundant investigations, all of which are have pre-determined conclusions.
Yet even as we meet, the international community is witnessing a grave and worsening human rights and humanitarian tragedy in Kyrgyzstan.
At least 200 have been slaughtered; 1500 injured; and 100,000 refugees seek to cross the border to escape the violence. The Red Cross warned just now that the humanitarian crisis that is “getting worse by the hour.” Witnesses report that women and children are being shot as they try to flee, and that bodies litter the city’s streets and many of its destroyed buildings. According to Dilmurad Ishanov, an Uzbek human rights worker in Osh, “They are killing Uzbeks like animals. Almost the whole city is in flames.”
Mr. President, we heard speeches today from Libya, Syria, Iran, Sudan, North Korea, Venezuela, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab League. I ask them: If all human beings are equal, why are you silent today for the victims of Kyrgyzstan? After you called an urgent debate and investigation for the so-called humanitarian flotilla, why do you not do the same for what everyone agrees is a humanitarian tragedy of colossal proportions?
Mr. President, this agenda item deafens our ears to the cries of human rights victims everywhere.