B’nai B’rith International is deeply disappointed that the United Nations General Assembly has voted to seat Libya on the Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Libya ran unopposed for a seat on the world’s human rights watchdog panel and General Assembly members could have voted against Libya’s candidacy. Instead, on May 13, Libya earned a three-year term, with the backing of 155 General Assembly members.
Only those with an exemplary human rights record at home should be considered fit to serve on the UNHRC. It is imperative that candidates for council seats hold values that demonstrate respect for universal human rights. Libya does not fall into that category.
Prior to the vote, B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said, “The election process, whereby human rights violators slide onto the Human Rights Council, makes a further mockery of that very body. With each passing action, and each passing year, the Human Rights Council more and more mimics its discredited predecessor, the Human Rights Commission. The evidence continues to mount that the council is committed not to protecting human rights, but to protecting various human rights abusers.”
In the last four years, B’nai B’rith has spoken out repeatedly against the trajectory of the UNHRC and its numerous member nations that clearly do not value global human rights.
With the Organization of the Islamic Conference leading the way, the UNHRC ignores pervasive human rights abusers to focus singular scrutiny on Israel, which is in fact the sole democracy in the Middle East.
“It’s hard to believe the Human Rights Council could get any more atrocious, but Libya’s ascension to this global human rights group is the latest low.” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “It is a sad fact that the Human Rights Council has become perhaps the biggest impediment to ensuring even the most basic human rights for far too many people in the world.”
B’nai B’rith International, with a full-time office dedicated to the United Nations, will continue to monitor the activities of the Human Rights Council and speak out vociferously to defend against injustices perpetrated by the group.