Rights group UN Watch urges Ban Ki-moon and rights chief Pillay to speak out
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GENEVA, July 12 – The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch urged United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to urgently speak out against the African-backed bid by Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir, indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court, for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council.
Last week, the U.S. failed to get the council to pass a condemnation of what it said was a Syrian candidacyfor 2014.
The NGO UN Watch also called on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU’s Catherine Ashton to denounce and fight against Sudan’s candidacy.
“Electing Sudan to the U.N. body mandated to promote and protect human rights worldwide is like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of a women’s shelter,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
The U.N.’s African group of states agreed behind closed doors to endorse the candidacies of Ethiopia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Sudan. Because Africa has arranged for five countries to run for the same amount of allotted seats, Sudan’s election is virtually assured.
“Technically,” said Neuer, “Sudan must still receive an absolute majority of 97 affirmative country votes in the U.N. General Assembly’s November election for new human rights council members. However, in the history of these ballots, names presented on a closed slate have never been rejected. It’s just the way U.N. ambassadors work. And the fact is that Sudan has been chosen to head various U.N. groupings, so its election to the UNHRC, however outrageous, is a real possibility.”