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Resources updated between Monday, November 11, 2013 and Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 15, 2013

November 14, 2013

Senator Mike Lee

Senator Mike Lee (UT-R) has now introduced Bill S.1197 to require an accounting of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the United Nations. Since 2010, there has been no such requirement, keeping U.S. citizens in the dark on how many taxpayer dollars are being spent on the UN or where they're going. To ensure full transparency, Senator Lee included the following reporting requirements from the executive branch in the bill:

  • The total amount of all assessed and voluntary contributions, including in-kind, of the United States Government to the United Nations and United Nations affiliated agencies and related bodies.
  • The approximate percentage of United States Government contributions to each United Nations affiliated agency or body in such fiscal year when compared with all contributions to such agency or body from any source in such fiscal year.
  • For each such contribution- the amount of the contribution; a description of the contribution (including whether assessed or voluntary); the department or agency of the United States Government responsible for the contribution; the purpose of the contribution; and the United Nations or United Nations affiliated agency or related body receiving the contribution.
In addition to these details, Senator Lee's bill requires retroactive reporting on the three previous fiscal years and that each report be made publicly available in all formats, including the Internet. This is fundamental accountability and transparency and Senator Lee's efforts deserve bipartisan support.

Senator Lee's UN Accountability Bill Article

Draft was adopted with 165 votes in favor, 6 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Palau, United States), and 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Tonga).

GA Second Committee Draft Resolution "Oil slick on Lebanese shores", A/C.2/68/L.26 Development

Draft was adopted with 165 votes in favor, 2 against (Cameroon, Israel), and 6 abstentions (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, South Sudan, United States, Vanuatu).

GA Fourth Committee Draft Resolution "Assistance to Palestine refugees", A/C.4/68/L.12 Development

Draft was adopted with 162 votes in favor, 6 against (Cameroon, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Palau, United States), and 5 abstentions (Nauru, Panama, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, Vanuatu).

GA Fourth Committee Draft Resolution "Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities", A/C.4/68/L.13 Development

Draft was adopted with 164 votes in favor, 6 against (Cameroon, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Palau, United States), and 3 abstentions (Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, Vanuatu).

GA Fourth Committee Draft Resolution "Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East", A/C.4/68/L.14 Development

Draft was adopted with 163 votes in favor, 7 against (Cameroon, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Nauru, Palau, United States), and 3 abstentions (Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, Vanuatu).

GA Fourth Committee Draft Resolution "Palestine refugees' properties and their revenues", A/C.4/68/L.15 Development

Draft was adopted with 88 votes in favor, 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States), and 73 abstentions.

GA Fourth Committee Draft Resolution "Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories", A/C.4/68/L.16 Development

Draft was adopted with 160 votes in favor, 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Israel, Nauru, Palau, United States), and 5 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, Vanuatu).

GA Fourth Committee Draft Resolution "Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the OPT including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories", A/C.4/68/L.17 Development

Draft was adopted with 158 votes in favor, 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Nauru, Palau, United States), and 8 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Honduras, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Vanuatu).

GA Fourth Committee Draft Resolution "Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan", A/C.4/68/L.18 Development

Draft was adopted with 156 votes in favor, 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States), and 11 abstentions (Cameroon, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Vanuatu).

GA Fourth Committee Draft Resolution "Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem", A/C.4/68/L.19 Development

Draft was adopted with 159 votes in favor, 1 against (Israel), and 11 abstentions.

GA Fourth Committee Draft Resolution "The occupied Syrian Golan", A/C.4/68/L.20 Development

Draft was adopted with 162 in favor, 5 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Palau, United States), and 9 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Honduras, Jamaica, Malawi, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Tonga).

GA Second Committee Draft Resolution "Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources", A/C.2/68/L.27 Development

November 13, 2013

What it takes to get elected to the UN's top human rights body, the UN "Human Rights" Council. Distribute gifts to delegates in the UN General Assembly before the vote.

- Saudi Arabia handed out cake pops:



- Cuba handed out CDs:



- Viet Nam handed out dolls:



- Mexico handed out bookmarks:



- South Africa handed out salad spoons:



Gifting One's Way onto UN HRC Article

November 12, 2013

New UN human rights bosses Today, the UN General Assembly held elections for the top UN human rights body, the Human Rights Council. New Council members include some of the world's worst abusers: China (elected with 176 votes of 193 UN members), Cuba (148 votes), Russia (176 votes), and Saudi Arabia (140 votes). In addition, with today's election, the Islamic bloc of states retains a stranglehold over the Council. States from the African and the Asian regional groups make up 55% of the Human Rights Council, and now 54% of them are members of the Organization for the Islamic Cooperation (OIC). So the OIC holds the balance of power. Also after today's elections, only 53% of the UN HRC members are free states (ranked "fully free" by the Freedom House).

A detailed breakdown and analysis of the election results can be found here.

Development

November 11, 2013

Saudi Arabia is set to join top UN human rights body on November 12, 2013

Saudi Arabia is set to join the UN Human Rights Council on November 12, 2013. The laughable process to select members of the UN's top human rights body involves pledging to care about human rights. So here's the Saudi 8-page "pledge" on its terrific rights record:

  • Saudi Arabia has "right conduct that is based on the Islamic Sharia."
  • "Saudi Arabia supported and complied with the resolutions of the Human Rights Council."
  • Saudi Arabia "cooperated with Human Rights Council mechanisms...in a manner that reflects its relentless pursuit of the realization of human rights on the ground."
  • "Saudi Arabia acceded to the Arab Charter on Human Rights" and all kinds of Arab human rights laws.
  • "Saudi Arabia has adopted several significant laws that protect human rights, including the Judiciary Law..."
  • "The Shura Council approved the Child Protection Law, which ... is aimed at realizing the best interests of the child."
  • "Recent human rights efforts of Saudi Arabia at the national level...Promoting a culture of human rights"
  • "A national plan for human rights education has been adopted..."
  • "In November 2012, the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue opened in Vienna."
  • "Saudi Arabia has established the National Commission for Human Rights Education."
  • "Saudi Arabia contributed $1 million in support of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women."
  • "Saudi Arabia pledged to contribute $10 million over a three-year period in order to establish the [United Nations Counter-Terrorism] Centre. This was followed by an additional contribution of $100 million..."
  • "Should Saudi Arabia be selected as a member for the period 2014-2016, it pledges to continue to support tirelessly the work of the Human Rights Council... Saudi Arabia furthermore affirms its commitment to... support the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights by contributing $1 million over a period of five years."
Now for the facts:
  • Saudis "justice" system includes beheading, whipping;
  • There are zero UN Human Rights Council resolutions on Saudi Arabia;
  • Saudis say they have engaged in the "relentless pursuit of the realization of human rights on the ground." (...grinding women down into the ground);
  • Saudis have a "judiciary law." Not the rule of law. Actually the rule of a hand-picked fanatical judiciary;
  • Saudis say they follow the "best interests of the child." Girls can marry at puberty. 10 years ok;
  • Saudis say they "promote a culture of human rights". Culture of misogyny, intolerance...more like it;
  • Saudis have a "national plan for human rights education." Now if only girls and women had equal access to education;
  • "King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Int'l Centre for Interreligious & Intercultural Dialogue" opened in Vienna. Antisemites unite;
  • Saudis gave $110 million to the UN Counter-Terrorism Center. Blood money;
  • Saudis donated money to the "UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women" (outside Saudi Arabia);
  • Saudis end their pledge by promising money for the UN Human Rights office if elected. Sound like a bribe to you?

Note verbale from the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations addressed to the President of the General Assembly Development