UN Watch: simply anti UN and anti Pillay – NGOs should Watch Out

January 23, 2013

Today’s post, praising the Office of the High commissioner for Human Rights, lead a reader to draw my attention to the continuing attacks by UN Watch. In a recent post (9 January this year) I had already urged Human Rights Watch to take more and more publicly distance from this other NGO, but reading the website of UN Watch I realize that in fact all human rights organizations should take distance instead of being lured into signing up for an ad-hoc critical statement that suits them at that moment.

As an example I refer to the statement by UN Watch in May 2012 criticizing the extension of Mrs Pillay’s mandate. In an effort to make it sound as if a whole range of NGOs share UN Watch’s horror of this excellent High Commissioner it makes the assertion that “UN Watch is among more than 38 human rights groups that have “questioned Pillay’s record in taking on the most powerful blocs and repressive regimes“. In fact the questioning was done by a group of mostly unknown groups and – worse – the criticism only related to the High Commissioner’s (admittedly disappointing) decision not to attend the reception in Oslo for Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo back in 2010. I have severe doubts that all of the NGOs agreed with the sweeping statement regarding Pillay’s record!

To get an idea of who the groups in question are I have reproduced the far from impressive the list below. If any feel that they do not want to be associated with this rabid and manipulating anti-UN NGO they should stand up and be counted! The prevalence of pro-Israel and anti-Cuba groups is remarkable in itself.

Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director
United Nations Watch

Art Kaufman
World Movement for Democracy
United States

Tashi Albertini
Associazone TicinoTibet

Abdurashid Abdulle Abikar
Center for Youth and Democracy

Nguyên Lê Nhân Quyên
Vietnamese League for Human Rights in Switzerland

Ted Brooks
Executive Director
Committee for Peace and Development Advocacy

Benjamin Abtan
SOS Racisme

Bernard Schalscha
Secrétaire général
Collectif Urgence Darfour

Ulrich Delius
Asia Desk
Society for Threatened Peoples

Shomik Chaudhuri
Vice President
Institute of International Social Development

Carlos E. Tinoco
Consorcio Desarrollo y Justicia, A.C.

Peter Hesse
Director, Fondation Peter Hesse (www.solidarity.org)

Logan Maurer
Regional manager
International Christian Concern (www.persecution.org)
United States

Dr. Theodor Rathgeber
Forum Human Rights

Rene Wadlow
Representative to the UN, Geneva
Association of World Citizens

Natalia Taubina
Public Verdict Foundation

Sylvia G. Iriondo
Mothers and Women against Repression (MAR por Cuba)

Nataliya Gourjii
Executive Director
Charitable Foundation ROKADA

Elena Bevilacqua
Director of Headquarters
International Union of Notaries (U.I.N.L.)

John Suarez
International Secretary
Directorio Democratico Cubano

Omar Lopez
Human Rights Director
The Cuban American National Foundation
United States

Klaus Netter
Main Representative, UN Office in Geneva
Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations

Volodymyr Yavorskyy
Executive Director
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Jean Stoner
NGO Representative
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
United States

Zohra Yusuf
Council Member
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

Heng-Hao (Leo) Chang
Secretary General
International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations

Sharon Gustafson
International Council of Jewish Women

Dr. Yael Danieli
Senior Representative to the United Nations
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Thomas Leys
International Federation of Liberal Youth

Do Hoang Diem
Viet Tan

Alim A. Seytoff
Uyghur American Association

Bhawani Shanker Kusum
Secretary and Executive Director
Gram Bharati Samiti

Francois Garaï
World Union of Progressive Judaism

Mamadi Kaba

Dieudonné Zognong
Fondation Humanus

Dickson Ntwiga
Executive Director
Solidarity House International

Amina Bouayach
Moroccan Organization for Human Rights (OMDH)

Amaya Valcarcel
International Advocacy Coordinator
Jesuit Refugee Service

The website of UN Watch – quite smart, well-organised and with plenty of videos – is there for all to see:  http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/category/navi-pillay/

4 Responses to “UN Watch: simply anti UN and anti Pillay – NGOs should Watch Out”

  1. Boven van Th (IR) Says:

    Dear Hans, Indeed, this is quite an obscure group of “UN Watch” supporters. It is disappointing to see among them three persons I know rather well : Theodor Rathgeber, Rene Wadlow and Yael Danieli. They are on the wrong side of the fence.

    Cheers, Theo


  2. Rene Wadlow Says:

    I am not sure where this list comes from as I would hardly fit into the list of “UN Watch Supporters”. I knew Morris Abrams, former many things when he set it up as a retirement position. Abrams, from the US state of Georgia, had played a useful role in the civil rights movement in the USA in the 1960s. and we had useful discussions when he was a member of the Sub-Commission although we were not in agreement on many things, in particular his efforts to get rid of the SubCommission. I have signed one, perhaps two of the UN Watch Appeals as they were on issues where I thought the petition was correct. I also protested strongly in privater to UN Watch for their attacks on my former colleage at the Graduate Institute of Development Studies (Geneva) Jean Ziegler, who as Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food highlighted many important situation about which I also had knowledge. Having been in university during the years of the McCarthy period in the US, I am sensitive to accusations of “guilt by association”. I stand by the human rights issues on which I have taken a stand. There are times when joint statements by NGOs can be helpful and I have written a number of such appeals but that does not mean that one is in agreement with all the other positions taken by the NGOs who co sign.

    • Hans Thoolen Says:

      Thanks Rene for this reassuring answer which I expected. Still for all clarity, did you sign this particular joint appeal or not (the list is on the website of UN Watch). IOf not, they ‘faked’ your name. If yeas, did you accept the later use of the statement to say that you were critical of the HC in general – best HT

  3. […] for wildly attacking perceived enemies (see e.g. my earlier post regarding the UN High Commissioner https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/un-watch-simply-anti-un-and-anti-pillay-ngos-should-watch-ou…), there are some links that could be helpful in understanding the issue surrounding Mona […]

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