The First-Ever “Inadmissible” Speech at the UN Human Rights Council

by Elizabeth Cassidy

On Friday, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer gave a speech at the Human Rights Council sharply criticizing its record of ignoring gross human rights violations worldwide unless they can be blamed on Israel. Read or watch the speech. In an unprecedented reaction, the Council’s Chair, Luis Alfonso De Alba of Mexico, refused to thank UN Watch for its statement and said that it was “inadmissible.” Ours is the only speech from that day that was not posted on the Council’s extranet. So much for freedom of opinion and expression, in the Council at least. (The video of the speech is on YouTube and, through word of mouth and the blogosphere, it has now received over 90,000 hits.)

Over the past year in the Council, ambassadors have called each other, UN experts, and representatives of NGOs “ignorant” and other similar insults. Sudan and its allies have denied the existence of human rights violations in Darfur, and Iran has denied the Holocaust. Nigeria has defended the use of the death penalty by stoning against homosexuals. The invective against Israel has included accusations of “an Israeli Holocaust against the Palestinian people,” a “thirst for the blood” of civilians, and of being “an apartheid regime” and even “an invader from the planet Mars.” The United States has been accused of running a “concentration camp” at Guantanamo Bay and of “genocide” against Cuba. The United Kingdom has been called a “colonial slave-master.” Sweden has been accused of “ethnic cleansing” against anyone who does not have the coloring of “former Viking conquerors.” Yet all of these statements, and many others like them, have been thanked and deemed admissible by the Council Chair.

Watch a sampling of what is admissible at the Council, here:

http://opiniojuris.org/2007/03/29/the-first-ever-inadmissible-speech-at-the-un-human-rights-council/

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