Saudi Arabia, et. al. win seats at UN Human Rights Council: Mockery at human rights, human dignity

12 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory

A Saudi paper, ArabNews, was upfront in mentioning in its news report on Saudi Arabia’s selection by the General Assembly as new addition to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations for the period 2014-2016. The paper acknowledged the unease of nations about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and its lack of commitment.

This past week has shown that Saudi Arabia is a notorious violator of human rights and dignity of immigrant workers within its territory, given the killing and rape of Ethiopian immigrants. For the whole week, the international media has been reporting about the violence unleashed by Saudi security forces against immigrant workers.

Listen to the pain and agony of victims from the video below:

A country that violates the rights and dignity of women, raping them in street corners and storehouses, is allowed to sit on the Council to judge on the records of other states, offenders or those reporting in compliance due to treaty obligations.

United Nations member states – especially those with better records – if any are left to help steer the organization and the international system along the path of furtherance of respect for fundamental human rights. Without it, the task of stamping out conflicts, or ensuring peace and security would become serious challenge.

International human rights organizations are extremely disappointed especially by Saudi Arabia’s election. Most of all, it is a country known for flouting all standards, including its seven outstanding refusals to accord right of visit to United Nations human rights investigators into its territory.

Overall, this year’s election has been disappointing to international human rights organizations. The General Assembly today approved, among others, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Cuba and Algeria to sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council for the next three years.

Human rights organizations said the election of these countries has undermined the Council’s credibility, as the global human rights watchdog.

The General Assembly elected 14 new members to the 47-seat Geneva-based council, which can shine a spotlight on rights abuses by adopting resolutions — when it chooses to do so. It also has dozens of special monitors watching problem countries and major issues ranging from executions to drone strikes.

Human Rights Watch noted that five of the new council members — China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Algeria — have refused to let U.N. investigators visit to check alleged abuses. China, Russia and Algeria have 10 or more unfulfilled requests for visits by U.N. experts, some dating back to 2000, the group said. Saudi Arabia and Vietnam each have seven outstanding requests, they said.

“Countries that haven’t allowed U.N. experts appointed by the council to visit have a lot of explaining to do,” said Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director of the New York-based non-government group. “It’s like hiring someone, then not allowing them to enter the office.”

Seats, allotted by region, are sometimes contested and sometimes not. All 193 members of the General Assembly can vote by secret ballots, which were collected in wooden ballot boxes from delegates.

Geneva-based UN Watch, a frequent critic of U.N. rights practices, denounced what it considered the worst new members.

“China, Cuba, Russia, and Saudi Arabia systematically violate the human rights of their own citizens, and they consistently vote the wrong way on U.N. initiatives to protect the human rights of others,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer. “For the U.N. to elect Saudi Arabia as a world judge on human rights would be like a town making a pyromaniac into chief of the fire department.

“Regrettably, so far neither the U.S. nor the EU have said a word about hypocritical candidacies that will undermine the credibility and effectiveness of the UN human rights system. By turning a blind eye as human rights violators easily join and subvert the council, leading democracies will be complicit in the world body’s moral decline.”

UN Watch and other groups have also criticized the Human Rights Council for its preoccupation with reports and resolutions criticizing Israel over the Palestinian issue. By contrast, Neuer said that the council has never adopted a resolution critical of Russia, China or Saudi Arabia.

Hicks of Human Rights Watch called on responsible nations to call out the abuses of the worst offenders, regardless of who is on the council.

“With the return of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Cuba, human rights defenders will have their work cut out for them at the Human Rights Council next year,” Hicks said. “States truly committed to advancing human rights will need to redouble their efforts on key issues, such as accountability in Sri Lanka, grave abuses in Central African Republic, and the ongoing crisis in Syria. Fortunately, no states have a veto in Geneva, so a hard-working majority can still achieve concrete results.”

Source: Agencies

Related article:

Human dignity vs Saudi Arabia’s candidature to UN Rights Council: UNGA 68th session’s albatross

2 Responses to “Saudi Arabia, et. al. win seats at UN Human Rights Council: Mockery at human rights, human dignity”

  1. creation science study November 13, 2013 at 02:48 #

    Why are we allowing these ungodly people to join the UN Human RIghts Council? Saudi Arabia is a sinner’s paradise!

    Our world is screwed if they are allowed to have this power!

    I’m Jim Solouki, and I’m a True Christian.


  2. November 14, 2013 at 19:01 #

    Reblogged this on


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