"All victims of human rights abuses should be able to look to the Human Rights Council as a forum and a springboard for action."
Stirring words from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The Human Rights Council met this week to elect a new president and vice-presidents. The president? Poland. The vice-presidents? Switzerland, the Maldives, Ecuador...and Mauritania. Yes, that Mauritania, where up to 20% of the population are estimated to live in slavery, where the punishment for apostasy from Islam is death, and where torture is commonplace.
From UN Watch:
"It is obscene for the U.N. to use the occasion of Human Rights Day, when we commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to elect the world's worst enabler of slavery to this prestigious post," said Hillel Neuer, UN Watch executive director.
"The U.N. is making an arsonist head of the fire department. It defies both morality and common sense."
According to a recent report by the Guardian, "up to 800,000 people in a nation of 3.5 million remain chattels," with power and wealth overwhelmingly concentrated among lighter-skinned Moors, "leaving slave-descended darker-skinned Moors and black Africans on the edges of society."
In today's session, Poland was elected president, while Ecuador, Maldives, and Switzerland were also elected as vice-presidents.
Neuer also objected to Ecuador's election, citing its "notorious record of censoring independent journalists and shutting down newspapers."
UN Watch expressed regret that while the dictatorship of Belarus took the floor in today's meeting to criticize the election of Poland, none of the democracies said a word about the election of Mauritania or Ecuador.
The Maldives isn't exactly a human rights paragon either.
Oh well. One out of four...