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Monday, October 1, 2007

UN Human Rights Council is too anti-Israel and unfiar for Amnesty Internation and HRW

From NGO Monitor:


Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch criticize UN Human Rights Council - Are They Finally Getting the Message?

In a July 2007 statement The Human Rights Council: A New Era in UN Human Rights Work?, Yvonne Terlingen, director of Amnesty International's offices at the UN, criticized the activity of the supposedly 'reformed' UN Human Rights Council. Discussing the Council's actions during three special sessions in 2006 covering the "Occupied Palestinian Territories," Terlingen offered the following observations concerning the failings of the Council to uphold its mandate:

"Particularly regrettable was the one-sided resolution that the council adopted…The highly politicized resolution strongly condemned "grave Israeli violations of Human Rights and breaches of International Humanitarian Law in Lebanon," but entirely ignored the massive human rights abuses committed by Hezbollah in using indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. This was a clear example of the "selectivity" and "double standards and politicization" that Resolution 60/251 seeks to eliminate. Moreover, the nearly exclusive focus of these special sessions on Israel, at the cost of disregarding equally if not more egregious human rights situations elsewhere in the world, started to raise serious questions regarding the council's credibility."

This criticism may represent recognition by Amnesty of the need for greater universality. However, much more fundamental change is required, to counteract Amnesty's highly disproportionate focus on Israel in its own reporting -- a significant failing which NGO Monitor has documented in detail.

Human Rights Watch also criticized the UN Human Rights Council in a September 10 statement. Unlike Amnesty, it failed to censure the council for its anti-Israel bias and activities; it did, however, call on the council "expand its agenda," to address neglected human rights and "tackle crises Worldwide." (In 2006, HJRW attacked the Israeli and US governments for warning that the new Council would repeat the biases and double-standards of the old Commission.)


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