Thursday, March 29, 2007

UN etiquette

Hillel Neuer, the president of Geneva-based NGO United Nations Watch, spoke the other day before the United Nations Human Rights Council. After the speech, the Council President Luis Alfonso De Alba not only refused to thank him, but said he would not tolerate such language again and would have Mr Neuer's words struck from the record.

Joe's Dartblog provides a transcript of part of the offending speech.

One might say, in Harry Truman’s words, that this has become a Do-Nothing, Good-for-Nothing Council.

But that would be inaccurate. This Council has, after all, done something.

It has enacted one resolution after another condemning one single state: Israel. In eight pronouncements—and there will be three more this session—Hamas and Hezbollah have been granted impunity. The entire rest of the world—millions upon millions of victims, in 191 countries—continue to go ignored.
Here is the complete speech.

In an essay on the UN Watch site from 2005, Neuer details how the 'moral authority' of the UN strikes, most unlike lightening, always in the same place.
[The UN] each year passes some nineteen resolutions against Israel and none against most other member states, including the world's most repressive regimes. The World Health Organization, meeting at its annual assembly in Geneva in 2005, passed but one resolution against a specific country: Israel was charged with violating Palestinian rights to health. Similarly, the International Labour Organization, at its annual 2005 conference in Geneva, carried only one major country-specific report on its annual agenda -- a lengthy document charging Israel with violating the rights of Palestinian workers.
The ironically named UN Human Rights Council inherited its mantle from the UN Commission on Human Rights, recently disbanded and reformed on account of its habitual violation of of anything approaching common sense, integrity or justice. To shore up this reform, the UN placed on the new Council exemplars of civil society such as Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and Azerbaijan.

It looks like it is carrying on the sterling work of its predecessor. Neuer detailed some of this invaluable work in 2005.
The Commission's agenda devotes a special item to censuring Israel.
The Commission's resolutions against Israel equal the combined total of country-specific resolutions adopted against all other countries in the world.
The Commission bars Israel from participation in the regional group system, and thereby from membership in the Commission itself.

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