UN Watch

From Wikispooks
Jump to: navigation, search
Group.png UN Watch   Powerbase Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-icon.png
UN Watch.jpg
Motto Monitoring the United Nations, Promoting Human Rights
Formation 1993
Parent organization American Jewish Committee
Type lobby

UN Watch is a Geneva-based affiliate of the American Jewish Committee [1] with ties to the U.S. State Department. It was established during the Bill Clinton's Administration in 1993.

Mission and History

The Mission statement of UN Watch states that it "believes in the United Nations' mission on behalf of the international community to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" and provide for a more just world."

UN Watch is headed by Ambassador Alfred H. Moses (Chair), former US Ambassador to Romania and Presidential Emissary for the Cyprus Conflict, UN Watch is governed by an international board whose members include: Per Ahlmark (European Co-Chair), former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden; Professor Irwin Cotler, international human rights advocate and former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Canada; David A. Harris (Co-Chair), AJC Executive Director; Ambassador Max Jakobson, former Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN in New York; and Ruth Wedgwood, professor of international law and diplomacy at Johns Hopkins University.[2] Chairman Morris B. Abram is a former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva.

UN statements

In 1997, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote a letter to Ambassador Morris B. Abram, Chairman of UN Watch, Jan. 30, 1997.:

"I deeply appreciate the valuable work performed by UN Watch. I believe that informed and independent evaluation of the United Nations' activities will prove a vital source as we seek to adapt the Organization to the needs of a changing world. I can promise you that I will pay close attention to your observations and views in the years ahead."[2]

In 1999, Secretary-General Kofi Annan made a speech refering to UN Watch's founder Morris B. Abram as "a global citizen of the first rank. I say this even as head of an organization which has been on the receiving end of some sharp criticism from UN Watch, Morris's current passion."[3]

Campaigns

UN Watch devotes much of its effort to documenting the many ways that the UN criticises Israel.

It also campaigns for action in Darfur[4] and has given voice to a number of former prisoners of conscience.[5]

Antisemitism

A 2007 report, "The United Nations and Anti-Semitism", 2004-2007 Report Card states:

While progress in some areas was encouraging, our report also revealed inaction, and, worse, the aiding and abetting of anti-Semitism through an infrastructure of manifestly one-sided and irrational UN measures designed to demonize the Jewish state. In the fight against anti-Semitism, and dealing with its own past, it is clear that the UN needs to do far more.[6]

"Goldstone Report" on Gaza 2008/2009

UN Watch was extremely critical of this Mission, starting with its mandate which only mentioned Israel.[7] This was changed to include violations by Gaza and the "de-facto authority", Hamas.

UN Watch also attempted to have one of the Mission's members, Christine Chinkin, disqualified in a 28 page presentation.[8]

The UN Watch web-site has an article and numerous links to material on the Goldstone Report, predominantly critical.[9]

Richard Falk

UN Watch accused Professor Richard Falk, the 80 year-old UN Rapporteur for Palestinians of having placed an antisemitic cartoon on his blog.[10] The cartoon in question can be seen on a screen-dump of the blog page here and, while not very easy to see, it is alleged that the attack-dog in the drawing is wearing a kippah. Falk's initial reaction was "It is a complete lie. I know nothing about such a cartoon, and would never publish such a thing, ever". He later defended the cartoon but removed it.



References

  1. UN Watch have denied being an arm of the American Jewish Committee. The AJC's website (at Oct 2011) states: "AJC maintains offices in Berlin, Brussels (Transatlantic Institute), Geneva (UN Watch) etc"
  2. a b UNWatch Mission and History "UN Watch believes in the United Nations' mission on behalf of the international community to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" and provide for a more just world." Verified in Oct 2011.
  3. Kofi Annan honors UN Watch's founder Morris B. Abram as "a global citizen of the first rank. I say this even as head of an organization which has been on the receiving end of some sharp criticism from UN Watch, Morris's current passion." 15 December 1999.
  4. The Seven Excuses of Inaction for Darfur July 14, 2009.
  5. Declaration of Dissidents for Universal Human Rights eleven "former prisoners of conscience, dissidents, victims of torture, persecution, and repression" declaration. 22 September 2011.
  6. "The United Nations and Anti-Semitism" 2004-2007 Report Card 1st Nov 2007.
  7. UN Watch to Judge Goldstone: Denounce the Gaza Inquiry's Biased Mandate "investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying Power, Israel, against the Palestinian people" UN Watch Intervention, NGO consultation meeting with the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict Geneva, 7 May 2009.
  8. UN Watch request to disqualify Christine Chinkin from UN Mission, August 20, 2009.
  9. UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (Goldstone Inquiry) UN Watch page of mostly very critical links.
  10. Richard Falk's Anti-Semitic Cartoon, Denial, and Non-Apology Apology Press Release "July 6, 10:38 AM - Falk responds: "It is a complete lie. I know nothing about such a cartoon, and would never publish such a thing, ever." He later defended the cartoon but removed it.