NGO urges Ban Ki-moon, Navi Pillay and Olivier de Schutter to speak out
GENEVA, October 24 -- A Wikileaks cable circulated for the first time today reveals that Kofi Annan was in possesson of an urgent World Food Program request to remove a UN Human Rights Council's expert on hunger because he was playing "profoundly immoral" and "inflammatory" politics that "had a negative impact on the lives of the hungry.” See detailed letter to Ban Ki-moon below. Click here for PDF.
The Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch today urged Ban Ki-moon and UN rights chief Navi Pillay to call on Jean Ziegler, the former UNHRC special rapporteur on the right to food, to resign from his continuing council mandates on hunger. As a member of the UNHRC Advisory Committee, Ziegler has participated on right to food drafting groups, and has been mandated to work on related reports, background papers and studies for the council.
Earlier this year, Swiss TV reported that Ziegler covered up his role as founder of the “Muammar Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights,” and 45 NGOs called on him to resign.
UN Watch director Hillel Neuer also called on Olivier de Schutter, the council's current special rapporteur, who reports today to the General Assembly, to repudiate Ziegler's "politicized path." Mr. de Schutter, who has expressed admiration for Ziegler, this year praised Syria's Assad regime in a major report, often attacks the West and Israel, and has refused to explain why he is planning a country visit next May to food-secure Canada, instead of spotlighting food emergency countries like Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan.
In 2008, Mr. de Schutter was appointed a “Special Senior Advisor” to UN General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockman, a former Sandinista politician who often embraces Iran's Ahmadinejad and other anti-Western tyrants. Other appointees included Richard Falk, supporter of the 9/11 conspiracy theory; Ramsey Clark, who has defended Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein and Rwandan torturers; and Noam Chomsky, the anti-American guru.
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