Print this Page

What's New

Resources updated between Monday, March 19, 2012 and Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 24, 2012

March 23, 2012

Draft, as orally revised, was adopted without a vote

Human Rights Council Revised Draft Resolution "The situation of human rights in Myanmar" Development

Draft was adopted with 41 votes in favor, 3 against and 2 abstentions

Human Rights Council Revised Draft Resolution "Human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic" Development

March 22, 2012

UN "Human Rights" Council adopts resolution on settlements making creation of a Judenrein Palestinian state its official policy

Voting Record on "Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the Occupied Syrian Golan" Development

Draft was adopted with 44 votes in favor, 1 against and 2 abstentions

Human Rights Council Draft Resolution "Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem" Development

Draft was adopted with 46 votes in favor, 1 against and 0 abstentions

Human Rights Council Draft Resolution "Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination" Development

Draft was adopted with 33 votes in favor, 1 against and 13 abstentions

Human Rights Council Draft resolution "Human Rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan" Development

Draft was adopted with 22 votes in favor, 5 against and 20 abstentions

Human Rights Council Draft Resolution "Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran" Development

Draft was adopted with 24 votes in favor, 15 against and 8 abstentions

Human Rights Council Revised Draft Resolution "Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka" Development

March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

This article originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post.

On March 19, 2012 the UN Human Rights Council and its UN staff in Geneva advertised and facilitated an event featuring a representative of the terrorist organization Hamas. Facing an immediate outcry, a massive misinformation campaign is now underway to protect the already discredited UN body. But there is no avoiding the facts: the UN handed a UN entrance pass and a UN microphone, in a UN room, to Hamas's own Ismail al-Ashqar.

US, European and Israeli laws designate Hamas as a terror group. Hamas's hate-filled Charter advocates genocide, or in its words: "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it...The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)..." The organization is pursuing that goal on a daily basis.

Nevertheless, the Council published a formal UN "Bulletin" – with the Council's name splashed across the top and a formal UN symbol number – containing the following message. Anyone wanting to catch a lecture by a Hamas human rights authority should head off to Meeting Room XXVII in the UN's Palais des Nations from 10 to 12 Monday morning.

Or in more formal UN-eze "Human Rights Council, Nineteenth session, Geneva, Bulletin of informal meetings, Held in parallel to the session, Monday, 19 March 2012...Subject: Arrest of parliamentarians, Public. A/HRC/19/BI/16."

Sent out to face the subsequent barrage of criticism, Director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva Corinne Momal-Vanian told AP that the meeting was "on the sides of the Human Rights Council session" and any UN-accredited group "can organize side events and invite speakers of its choice."

Indeed, the event featuring the Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council was organized by the UN-accredited NGO "Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development." But here are a few facts Momal-Vanian managed to leave out.

UN facilities would only have been available to a non-governmental organization that had been awarded UN accreditation and then only after they had requested the services from the UN secretariat. Though the UN bulletin carries a standard disclaimer for what may or may not be said during such events, the application to hold the meeting in the first place must have been vetted and approved by UN staff.

Moreover, locating meetings on the "side" of the Human Rights Council's regular session – which is now in full swing – is a deliberate attempt to influence information flow to Council participants. And while in theory any UN group can ask permission to hold a side event, it is no accident that approval is actually granted to a raft of Israel-bashing NGOs.

This week alone radical organizations with extreme ideologies are scheduled to hold two more two-hour sessions on UN premises: "Human rights in Palestine" and "Follow-up to the Goldstone Report." The organizing NGOs, including Al Haq, BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, and Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l'amiti้ entre les peuples, all hold official UN accreditation. Standard fare is to claim that Israel's creation was a catastrophe that has to be walked back; Israel is an apartheid state; Israelis are foreigners transplanted onto Arab land; Israel should be subject to debilitating sanctions. BADIL's website and activities, for example, are studded with antisemitic images and rants.

The controversy comes at an inopportune moment for the Obama administration, which is in the middle of a drive to renew its three-year term on the Human Rights Council. So somehow a twitter campaign joined Monday's effort to ward off the public relations disaster of a terrorist UN human rights buff.

Some examples. Tweet: "NGOs can invite people without the UN being aware or responsible." In fact, no person can get through UN security at the Palais des Nations without their name being provided to UN officials in advance; officials must then grant access and issue a UN pass. Even the UN spokesperson has not alleged that al-Ashqar evaded security and snuck in.

Then there was this tweet: "Hamas representative invited by NGO is distraction." Welcoming a terrorist into the midst of a facility supposedly dedicated to human rights is indeed a distraction – from the UN's raison d'etre. Another read: "Contrary to Hamas boast, its representative spoke to empty room." Photos of the audience posted on the web contradicted that tweet. And then there was the bleat: "Invited not by UN but Sudanese group." Except that the Sudanese group was not just any bunch of hate-mongers, but UN-accredited, and nothing would have prevented UN staff from turning al-Ashqar away at the door.

According to Momal-Vanian, however, what worried the UN most about the Hamas agent's visit was this: "the global body assessed the possibility of security threats in connection with the event and allowed it to go ahead."

A perversion from beginning to end. Only the UN could twist the security threat so that the terrorist front man became the victim.

UN gave Hamas front man a UN pass & allowed him to speak at UN Geneva headquarters

Hamas at UN: Only the United Nations could twist the security threat so that the terrorist front man became the victim Article

Monday, March 19, 2012

Today the UN Human Rights Council and its UN staff in Geneva advertised and facilitated an event that handed a UN pass, and a UN microphone, in a UN room, to a representative of the terrorist organization Hamas.

...notwithstanding the fact that the grotesque antisemitic charter of Hamas advocates the murder of Jews and the obliteration of the Jewish state - – and the organization's members are continuing to use unspeakable cruelty and violence to realize that horrendous goal.

Here is the UN advertisement – a Bulletin posted on the UN website – of the event organized by the UN-accredited NGO "Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development (MFPD)".

Here are photos of the Hamas speaker – Ismail al-Ashqar – a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council at the session. (He is the individual wearing a red tie.)

Here is some of the material distributed at UN Headquarters during the event. Among other things, it includes a call for genocide against the Jewish people. "We ask Almighty God to...liberate all Palestinian territories..."

Yes, an organization dedicated to genocide but
handed a platform by the United Nations "human rights" apparatus.

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on

The credibility of President Obama's "speak softly and carry a wet U.N. noodle" foreign policy took a major hit on Friday when it was discovered that Iranian thugs have been given carte blanche to participate in and wander around the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva intimidating Iranian dissidents.

The president's decision to join the U.N.'s top human-rights body in 2009, and more recently to seek a second three-year term on the Council, is one of the centerpieces of his "engagement" strategy. Neither the membership of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, and Cuba on this human-rights agency, nor three years of incessant Israel-bashing, has deterred the administration from attempting to legitimize the Council. It is not surprising, therefore, that Iran is evidently not feeling the heat.

In early March the Iranian mission to the U.N. in Geneva informed the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in writing that 21 officials would be "participating in the 19th session of the Human Rights Council," now underway. Among them is one Gholam Hossein Esmaeili, "Head of the prisons organization and rehabilitation and preventive programs."

Esmaeili has another claim to fame - he is on an EU sanctions list and subject to a travel ban and assets freeze as a person "responsible for grave human rights violations." The EU decision of April 12, 2011, imposing the restrictions specifies that Esmaeili was "complicit in the massive detention of political prisoners and covering up abuses performed in the jailing system." The Iranian government apparently believed he would be quite comfortable participating in the U.N.'s idea of a human-rights body.

It turns out Iran also thought that by participating in the human-rights body it could import some of the tactics acceptable back home. On March 12, 2012, the U.N. was considering a report on human rights in Iran produced by a special rapporteur/investigator. Iranian dissidents were in attendance as observers. Just prior to the commencement of the so-called "interactive dialogue" between states and the investigator, U.N. security guards approached two dissidents and asked them to step outside for questioning. Iranian diplomats, the guards explained, had complained that the two had been taking photographs of Iranian representatives.

After their laptop was examined, the two NGO members were allowed to return to the Council session but shortly thereafter were approached by Iranian diplomats directly. A loud exchange occurred in the back of the Council chamber itself, with Iranian representatives insisting on examining the computer files of the Iranian NGOs. Ultimately, the diplomatic goons took out their cameras and photographed the NGO members inside the Council room. Despite the fact that multiple complaints over the harassment were lodged with U.N. officials, no U.N. action was taken.

Iranian strong-arm tactics also appear to be having an effect on U.N. member states. This week the Council is expected to adopt a shamefully weak resolution on human rights in Iran. The operative part of the draft is three measly sentences long and fails to mention a single word about human-rights violations in Iran. It puts off doing anything by simply mandating more reports in the future.

The resolution also contains a pitiful plea for Iran "to cooperate" with the U.N. special investigator and "to permit access to visit the country" - notwithstanding the fact that Iran has not admitted a U.N. special rapporteur on human-rights violations in Iran since 1996. As the head of the Iranian delegation Mohammad Javad Ardeshir Larijani, "Secretary of the High Council for Human Rights," explained to the Council on March 12, 2012, the problem was the "Zionist mafia," since "we are . . . a democracy system, a polity based on Islamic rationality . . . peaceful and respectful coexistence . . . truth, dignity, and justice."

The Iranian offensive within the U.N. human-rights framework had one more front last week. Back in 2007, with then–U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour in attendance, the 117 countries of the non-aligned movement (NAM) met in Tehran and adopted the "Tehran Declaration and Programme of Action on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity." The Declaration established a "NAM Center for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity" to be headquartered in Tehran. On Friday, March 16, 2012, "the Permanent Mission of Iran" organized a meeting of this center on U.N. premises in Geneva; the invitation to the public was issued in a U.N. document entitled "Bulletin of informal meetings held in parallel to the [Human Rights Council] session."

The title of the Iranian meeting that was facilitated by the U.N. was "Emerging New International Human Rights Institutions/Mechanisms in the NAM Region," and the moderator was the Iranian center's director. Oddly enough, the emergence of Holocaust denial as government policy, the advocacy of genocide, the sponsorship of state terrorism, and the provision of arms to a neighboring government engaged in the commission of crimes against humanity were not discussed.

Under the Obama administration, American taxpayers are paying 22 percent of the costs of the U.N. "Human Rights" Council: the bulletins, the documents, the voting machines, the microphones, the global webcasts, the translations, the facilities, the salaries of U.N. officials, and on and on. Iran isn't perverting human rights and freedoms all by itself.

Iranian Thugs Allowed to Troll UN "Human Rights" Council

Iranians Employ Thuggish Tactics at U.N. Human Rights Council Article