April 10, 2013 in human rights council (unhrc).
GENEVA, April 10, 2013 – UN Watch welcomed U.S. condemnation today of Syria’s membership on a 30-country United Nations human rights committee that is meeting in Paris this week, part of a two-week UNESCO Executive Board session that opened today.
UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights NGO, heads a global campaign of more than 50 parliamentarians, human rights and religious groups that has repeatedly called for Syria’s expulsion and urged action by US, the EU and the UN.
“Having the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad as a global judge of human rights is like appointing a pyromaniac to be a firefighter,” said Neuer. “UNESCO is allowing the Assad regime to strut in Paris as a U.N. human rights arbiter — it’s immoral, indefensible and an insult to Syria’s victims.”
Syria is an elected member of the UNESCO executive board, and in 2011 was also elected — after the Assad regime’s massacre of its citizens already began — to two of its human rights committees: the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations, which rules on individual human rights complaints against governments, and meets today and tomorrow; and the 23-member Committee on Non-governmental Partners, which oversees the work of human rights groups, and meets tomorrow.
David Killion, U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO, in response today to a question by UN Watch, said that “the Syrian regime’s actions are an affront to the dignity and human rights of the Syrian people, and it is not fit to sit on this body.”
Ambassador Killion reaffirmed the U.S. government’s strong objection to Syria’s participation in the UNESCO Committee on Conventions and Recommendations stating, “It is indefensible for the Syrian regime to be allowed to stand as a judge of other countries’ human rights records while it systematically violates the human rights of its citizens, commits acts of sexual violence against women and children, and murders its own people.”
UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer saluted the U.S. for speaking out, and urged France, Germany, the UK, and the EU to similarly condemn Syria’s “obscene” membership on the committee, and to take concrete action to remove it. Neuer also called on UN chief Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO director Irina Bokova “to use their moral voice to spur action.”
“Now that both the OIC and the Arab League have removed Assad’s regime from their organizations, there is simply no longer any excuse — morally or politically — for UNESCO to insist on keeping Assad’s regime on a human rights committee that is charged with helping victims worldwide. It’s time for UNESCO to stop legitimizing a government that mercilessly murders its own people,” said Neuer.
Ambassador Killion also told UN Watch that “The Assad regime has repeatedly acted to silence the voice of the Syrian people and to repress independent media attempting to report on its misdeeds. The regime’s brutality has sparked a humanitarian crisis, causing innocent suffering and senseless tragedy. This is a regime willing to exact collective punishment on innocent communities, import fighters from Iran and Hizbollah to help carry out its evil deeds, and destroy the country and its heritage for the sake of its own survival.”
After UNESCO elected Syria to its human rights committee in November 2011, UN Watch launched a campaign to reverse the decision, prompting the US and Britain to initiate a March 2012 debate at UNESCO. However, while a resolution was adopted censuring Syria’s violations — a welcome first for UNESCO — the promised call to oust the regime from UNESCO’s human rights panel was excised.
Last year UN Watch received notice from the British Foreign Office that it would seek to cancel Syria’s “abhorrent” membership. In an email to UN Watch, the UK said it “deplores the continuing membership of Syria on this committee and does not believe that Syria’s presence is conducive to the work of the body or UNESCO’s reputation. We have therefore joined with other countries in putting forward an item for the first meeting of the Executive Board at which we will seek to explicitly address Syria’s membership of the body.”
The UK also expressed hope that other members of the executive board will join London in ending what it called“this abhorrent [and] anomalous situation.”
Paris insiders say that UNESCO diplomats from non-democratic regimes are afraid to create a precedent of ousting repressive governments.
“However, now that the Arab League recently removed Assad’s regime, we must take advantage of the new political momentum. It’s time for Britain to uphold its pledge and demand Syria’s expulsion,” said Neuer.
“The Assad regime’s ongoing membership calls into question the credibility of UNESCO’s mission to promote human rights, and Syria’s membership is a lingering stain upon the reputation of the UN as a whole.”
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1) United Nations Human Rights Council: Lybia - March 1, 2011
'UN General Assembly Suspends Libya's Human Rights Council Membership'
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
The United States applauds the move by the UN General Assembly to suspend Libya’s membership rights in the Human Rights Council in Geneva. We continue to demand an immediate halt to the violence perpetrated by the Qadhafi government against its own citizens. The General Assembly today has made it clear that governments that turn their guns on their own people have no place on the Human Rights Council.
Today’s historic action is the first time that any country serving on the Human Rights Council, or the Commission before it, has ever had its membership suspended. The international community is speaking with one voice and our message is unmistakable: these violations of universal rights are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Two years ago, the United States announced that we would seek to join the Human Rights Council with a commitment to reform the Council from within. The actions the Council has taken over the last few days, setting the stage for today’s decision, is the latest example that our engagement is paying dividends, even as we keep pressing for further reforms.
The United States will continue to work with the international community on additional steps to hold the Qadhafi government accountable, provide humanitarian assistance to those in need, and support the Libyan people as they pursue a transition to democracy.
2) United Nations Human Rights Council: Syria - June 5, 2013
'Russia: Use of UNHRC to Benefit Extremist Opposition Hinders Resolving Syrian Crisis'
A statement published on the Ministry's website on Wednesday said that the use of the UNHRC to benefit one side of the crisis in Syria, specifically the extremist opposition, does not help find a way out of the Syrian crisis.
The statement pointed out that the bias of the report submitted at the UNHRC was exploited by some countries' delegation to once again assign blame for what is happening in Syria to the Syrian government, all while neglecting the many crimes and human rights violation committed by armed terrorist groups.
The Foreign Ministry said that the experts who submitted the aforementioned reported didn't bother to listen to the victims and witnesses to violence perpetrated by extremists, although these experts admitted that the growing numbers of extremists among gunmen in Syria are committing summary executions, torture, abduction and employ children in aggressive actions.
The statement also noted that the committee in charge of the report once again decided not to include bombings committed by armed groups in Syrian cities in the list of terrorist acts; it even refused to describe them as terrorist acts!
The Ministry said that the atrocities committed by extremists are being condoned through remaining silent over them, especially rape and violence against women.
The Army Foils Infiltration Attempt into al-Qseir, Kills Many Terrorists in Other Areas
A unit of the Syrian army foiled on Sunday a terrorists' infiltration attempt from Lebanon into al-Quseir countryside and inflicted direct injuries among the terrorists.
An official source told SANA reporter that a number of terrorists were killed, including three Lebanese terrorists, Nedal Subh, Firas Shalha and Ahmad Kisher, while the rest of terrorists were forced to flee into the Lebanese territories.
In al-Quseir city, a unit of the army destroyed a number of terrorists' dens and concentrations which included arms and ammunition in the northern and western neighborhoods in the city.
Army Destroys Arms and Ammunition Bound for Terrorists in al-Qseir
Units of the armed forces inflicted heavy losses upon terrorists in a series of operation carried out against their hideouts in Homs countryside.
A military source told SANA that a number of terrorists were killed in al-Bouida al-Sharqia in al-Qseir countryside and their weapons and ammunitions were destroyed.
The source added that a unit of the armed forces destroyed 3 trucks with all the weapons and ammunitions inside them, killing all terrorists inside them northwest of al-Dhirij bound for from al-Husinieh farms to al-Qseir.
Another unit of the armed forces killed a number of terrorists in Kherbt Gmrah and Zaher al-Kadib ,south of Tal al-Khish and near al-Mahmoud Mosque in al- Rastan city. The unit also destroyed a rockets launcher.
Units of the armed forces killed a number of terrorists and injured others in several operations in al-Abbasieh resort and al-Kuwiti and al-Nakhil Farms in Palmyra.
Meanwhile, units of the armed forces continued their operations against terrorists, killing a number of them in Aqrab, Burj Ka'ae, al-Dar al-Kabira, al- Ghanto and Talbeiseh in Homs countryside.
Jabhat al-Nusra Terrorists Killed in Damascus Countryside
Meanwhile, units of the armed forces killed and injured many Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists, most of them are non-Syrian, in a series of special operations targeting their gatherings in a number of towns in Damascus Countryside.
An official source told SANA reporter that a number of terrorists affiliated to Jabhat al-Nusra were killed in the framework of an operation carried out by an army unit in Hijeira town.
The Tunisian terrorist Habib Motani was identified among the dead, in addition to terrorists Mahmoud al-Rifaei and Khazem Shana'eh.
The source added that a unit of the armed forces pursued a terrorist group from Jabhat al-Nusra in Madaya area and inflicted heavy losses upon its members.
Another army unit, the source said, destroyed a gathering for terrorists in Yelda town and a heavy machinegun they had been using in targeting the residents of the town. Among the killed terrorists were Ziyad al-Hindi and Fahd Tayyareh.
SANA reporter quoted the source as saying that units of the armed forces pursued terrorist groups in the farms surrounding Deir Salman area in Eastern Ghouta and killed a number of their members, including Mohammad al-Khatib and Hossam al-Aqraa.
In the same context, a unit of the armed forces killed a number of terrorists from the so-called 'The Capital's Shield Brigade' along al-Mleiheh town, including Osama Qallaa and Maher al-Shaar.
Another army unit killed leader of the so-called 'The Capital's Shield Brigade', Hisham Shalla, a number of his group's members who were targeting passersby and cars on Damascus-Homs road in Harasta area.
An army unit pursued members of terrorist groups that were targeting the residents and sabotaging infrastructure in the areas of Beit Jin farms and Khan al-Sheikh. Many of the terrorists were killed and injured.
Another army unit destroyed a mortar and den for an armed terrorist group affiliated to Jabhat al-Nusra near al-Kuwaiti Building in Yabroud area.
In the farms west of the town of al-Shifouniye in Douma, Army units destroyed a gathering of terrorists, injuring a number of terrorists and killing others including Abu Zuheir al-Mkabtal.
The Army also eliminated terrorist snipers near Haramala tunnel west of Zamalka, while another unit pursued a terrorist group around Beit Sahm, injuring a killing its members including Mohammad al-Salahi.
Mass Rally in Douma Calls for Expulsion of Terrorists from the City and Eastern Ghouta
Hundreds of Douma resident went out in a rally calling for expelling the armed terrorist groups from Douma and all cities and villages of the western Ghouta in Damascus Countryside.
The participants told SANA reporter that hundreds of Douma resident gathered in the Municipality roundabout and challenged the armed terrorist groups, telling them to leave the city and stopping their terrorist acts against citizens and properties.
The participants stressed that the terrorists are to blame of the deteriorating security conditions and the shortage of basic materials in the city.
Army Continues Operations against Terrorists in Aleppo Province
Army units eliminated a number of terrorist groups which had been committing robberies on al-Maslamiye road in Aleppo province.
Army units also destroyed terrorist gatherings near the iron warehouses, the agriculture department, al-Khoulandi gas station, and Tallet al-Madafeh in the areas around Aleppo Central Prison.
Other units clashed with terrorists in Khan al-Asal area and on the Kafrnaha road, killing and injuring a number of them.
In the villages of al-Ziyara, Mennegh and al-Alqamiya in the area around Mennegh airport, Army units eliminated many terrorists in a series of operations targeting terrorist hideouts and vehicles, while another unit clashed with terrorists on the Hayyan road, leaving them dead or injured.
In Aleppo city, Army units continued operations against terrorist hideouts in the areas of Karm al-Mayser, al-Ameriye, Bustan al-Qaser, and near al-Layramoun factories, destroying the hideouts along with the weapons and munitions inside them.
Army Units Restore Security and Stability to Khafer Hamra Farms in Aleppo Countryside
An official source said that Army units restored security and stability to Khafer Hamra farms in Aleppo countryside, establishing full control over the farms.
The source added that the terrorists burnt the farms surrounding this area.
Army Kills Terrorists in Idleb Countryside
An army unit destroyed on Sunday two weapons' caches for terrorists and killed numbers of them, among them non-Syrians, during operations against their gatherings in Idleb countryside.
A military source told SANA that terrorists' dens and heavy machineguns were destroyed near Abu al-Dohour airport in Idleb countryside, eliminating all the terrorists inside.
The source added that an army unit destroyed two weapons' caches in the vicinity of Taftanaz airport, killing numbers of terrorists, among them Hassan al-Mughir, Ahmad al-Matir, the Saudi terrorist Ahmad al-Soufi, the Jordanian Issam Abu Shalaiekh and the Lebanese Hatem al-Bardouni.
Army units also killed and injured terrorists in Bennish, Kmeinas, Saraqeb, Maartmesrin, Hass, Kafrouma and Maarshamshah towns in Idleb countryside.
Army Eliminates Terrorists, Destroys Their Equipment in Lattakia Countryside
Arny units carried out a series of operations targeting terrorist hideouts in the villages of Shurouq and al-Khadra'a in Lattaka countryside, destroying the hideouts along with the terrorists inside them.
Iyad al-Shaherli, Muhanad al-Maasarani, Ammar Bakri, Muayad Shirawi, Mahmoud al-Soufi, Hussein al-Matiri and Mohammad Daghmash were identified among the dead terrorists.
Other units targeted terrorists in the village of Jeb al-Ahmar, destroying their weapons and munitions and leaving a number of them dead or injured.
Global Research, June 2, 2012
The presence of Syrian National Transitional Council head Bassma Kodmani at the 2012 Bilderberg conference clearly indicates that power brokers at the elite confab will be discussing the effort to topple President Bashar Al-Assad and install a NATO-friendly administration in the violence-stricken country.
Kodmani is the Head of Foreign Affairs with the SNC, a coalition of Syrian opposition groups based in Istanbul, Turkey. While at the Bilderberg meeting she will be in the company of the likes of former Secretary of State and accused war criminal Henry Kissinger, warhawk Richard Perle, and Thomas E. Donilon, National Security Advisor for the Obama White House.
Having overseen numerous wars during his tenure in the White House, Kissinger is a staunch advocate of so-called “humanitarian” interventions. Before last year’s toppling of Colonel Gaddafi, he advocated a U.S. ground invasion of Libya.
During last year’s Bilderberg conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland, members discussed expanding the war in Libya. Four months later, Gaddafi was killed and the country was under the control of NATO-backed rebels and the National Transitional Council of Libya.
Kodmani is a darling of the establishment, having written op-eds for the New York Times calling for the overthrow of Assad. In recent months her position has become increasingly hardline and pro-NATO intervention. In January she called for “greater militarization of local resistance or foreign intervention.” Kodmani has also called for Syria to form an alliance with Israel.
Hostility towards Syria from the international community has intensified in recent weeks, particularly after last weekend’s massacre in Houla which was blamed on Assad’s forces despite the fact that eyewitnesses in Houla said opposition rebels were responsible for the slaughter, which killed 108 people – mostly women and children.
On Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Houla massacre will be used to build an international consensus for military intervention. “Every day that goes by makes the argument for it stronger,” she said while addressing Danish university students.
This followed U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice adopting a more hardline approach following a UN Security Council meeting. “Members of this Council and members of the international community are left with the option only of having to consider whether they are prepared to take actions outside of the Annan plan and the authority of this Council,” said Rice.
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has repeatedly stated that Congressional authorization for a military assault on Syria will not be sought by the Obama administration, which considers NATO and the UN to be the supreme authority.
In June last year, President Obama arrogantly expressed his hostility to the rule of law when he dismissed the need to get congressional authorization to commit the United States to a military intervention in Libya, churlishly dismissing criticism and remarking, “I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question.”
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.
The next meeting of the Bilderberg group is to be held in England. The location is thought to be the Grove Hotel Watford from the 6th to the 9th of June.
These annual meetings are summits of the most wealthy, powerful and influential people in the world of politics, finance and business. The biggest mystery surrounding them is why the mainstream newspapers and broadcasters have chosen not to report on them since 1954.
Oxfam reaction to EU failure to extend arms embargo on Syria beyond August
28th May 2013
EU Foreign Ministers failed last night to extend the EU arms embargo on Syria as it stands. They
decided, however, not to lift it before August 1st and set a number of conditions.
In reaction, Oxfam’s Head of Arms Control, Anna Macdonald, said:
“Oxfam is disappointed that the EU will not extend its arms embargo on Syria as it stands. Ministers sent out mixed signals. What was needed was an unequivocal stance that the EU will do everything it can to stop the bloodshed and prevent a deadly arms race in Syria, which would have devastating humanitarian consequences.”
“We welcome the EU’s willingness to prioritise the pursuit of a political solution and its strong commitment for human rights and international humanitarian law. However, European governments should be using their influence to secure a halt to international arms transfers from all governments to any warring party in Syria.”
“This decision does not give the green light to any member states who want to supply arms to groups in Syria. As clearly laid out in the EU Common Position on Arms Transfers, any transfers must be subject to full risk assessment procedures against the risks of arms being used for violations of human rights and humanitarian law.”
Oxfam has been advocating to bring the arms trade under control for more than a decade and played a crucial role in the campaign to secure a robust Arms Trade Treaty. Under the new treaty – which was passed by majority vote at the UN in April this year and opens for signature next week on June 3 – arms transfers must not be authorised where there is a major risk the weapons will be used to commit violations of human rights or international humanitarian law. Both European countries and all other 156 states that voted in favour of this landmark treaty need to live up to its principles.
Russian Military Intelligence Chief Warns of Increased Numbers of Terrorists from Europe Fighting in Syria
Director of Russian Military Intelligence, Gen. Igor Sergun, warned against the dangers of the increasing number of terrorists who are fighting within the ranks of the armed opposition in Syria coming from Europe.
Sergun's warning came in his speech addressed to an international conference held Thursday in Moscow on "the Military and Political Aspects of Euro-Atlantic Security".
He cautioned that those terrorists "would come back to their countries having acquired a combat experience and would be able to use their experience in the European continent."
He pointed out that "The extremist groups in Syria risk the collapse of the state by continuing to impose their conditions in the issue of creating the state's regime."
He considered that those acts by the extremist groups indicate more chaos and risk the collapse of the state and increasing the number of the displaced in the neighboring countries.
Russian Diplomat: EU Discussions on lifting Arms Embargo on 'Syrian Opposition" Inappropriate
May 23, 2013
Chizhov told journalists in Moscow Thursday " the EU Council for Foreign Affairs should look into this issue on the 27th of the current month."
"According to our estimations, the majority of the EU states reject the abolishment of arms embargo," the Russian official said, adding that cancelling weapon prevention to one side only in view of the circumstances of the continuous crisis in Syria is a dangerous move.
"Sending more weapons to such places will never contribute to bringing peace," Chizhov said, pointing out that the "Syrian opposition" is a contradictory combination of different backgrounds.
He said that the "extremist groups control "the armed opposition," adding when they talk that weapons will not go to extremists, it seems very dangerous, as Russia will not accept such a stance.
The Russian official added that the EU has its particular systematic instructions on acting with regard to arms trade and military technology adopted in 1998 and was modified in 2008, clarifying that they stipulate for not sending weapons to areas of conflict where it may be used in the context of human rights violations.
He referred that the Syrian crisis will be one of the central issues to be tackled by the EU Summit due to be held in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg on 3rd and 4th of June.
Chizhov said that the EU will normally participate in Geneva meeting, as it participated in the last meeting, a matter that will not hinder the member states, particularly those permanent in the UN Security Council from participating in this meeting.
R. Milhem / Ghossoun
May 15, 2013
Netanyahu to Putin: ‘Your missile sales to Assad could trigger war’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly warned Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that Moscow’s sale of a sophisticated missile defense system to President Bashar Assad ‘could push the Middle East into war’.
Netanyahu, who flew to meet Putin for emergency talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, told the Russian president that the S-300 ‘had no relevance to Assad’s civil-war battles against rebel groups, and urged Moscow not to deliver the systems’, Channel 2 reported on Wednesday night.
Lavrov said the weapons were to help Syria defend itself against air attacks.
At a brief joint press conference, the Russian president said that the only way to resolve the crisis was via “the soonest end to armed conflict and the beginning of political settlement.”
As a reminder
November 2, 2010
‘IDF intelligence chief: Israel’s next war will see heavy casualties’
In farewell meeting at the Knesset, Gen. Amos Yadlin says next conflict will hit Israel far harder than recent wars in Lebanon and Gaza – and hints for first the time at Israeli involvement in a 2007 strike on a nuclear plant in Syria…
In a final meeting at the Knesset, outgoing Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin warned on Tuesday that Israel’s next war would be fought on several fronts – causing far heavier damage and casualties than other recent conflicts. A new war would be far deadlier than Israel’s last two, relatively short, conficts in Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-9. Syria, particularly, posed a greated military obstacle to Israel than at any time in the past three decades, Yadlin said, having amassed advanced Russian-built antiaircraft missiles that seriously limited the operational freedom of the Israel Air Force. Yadlin also hinted at Israel’s involvement in attacking a Syrian nuclear facility in September 2007. That strike has been widely attributed to Israel, but the government has never officially taken responsibility for the operation. The veteran soldier, who turns 60 next year, told the committee that during his position as MI chief he had contended with two enemy nuclear programs – apparently a reference to Iran and Syria. Yadlin also warned of a growing threat from the Iranian nuclear program, saying Iran now had enough highly enriched uranium to build a bomb.
Photo: Israeli Patriot missiles
May 21, 2013
A Syrian terrorist seriously injured in fighting across the border was treated in the Ziv hospital in northern Israel. Israel Radio said the man had been brought initially to an IDF field hospital by Israeli soldiers. It did not explain how Israeli forces reached the injured man.
Photo: February 21, 2013 - terrorist attack in Syria
‘US, Turkey, Israel made strategic errors on assessments of Syria situation’
May 21, 2013
Mossad-connected DEBKAfile wrote that "Strategic errors, which may turn out to be irreversible, because they emanated from faulty assessments shared by Israel and the Obama administration of the strengths on the Syrian battlefield."
"To this day, the US, Israel and Turkey cling to the belief that Assad's days are numbered and refuse to recognize the steady advances made by the Syrian army in its counter-offensive for dislodging the rebels from land they captured in more than two years of combat," the article said.
DEBKAfile added that "the next stage of the Syrian war" would "evolve into a war of attrition against Israel waged from the Syrian Golan."
"At all events, the Syrian civil conflict appears poised ready to spill over to one or more of its neighbors, starting with Israel," it warned.
The article also acknowledged that the US and Israel had failed "to break up the Tehran-Damascus-Hezbollah alliance."
The report came as Tel Aviv has recently boosted military activities in the occupied Golan Heights, where clashes between Syrian forces and foreign-sponsored militants have spiked dramatically in recent weeks.
The Israeli military also has carried out three airstrikes against Syria so far this year.
This is while, the Syrian army is advancing on the foreign-militants in several battlefields across Syria.
The army has restored security in al-Qusayr in the central province of Homs, after taking back control of 50 percent of the city from foreign-backed militants.
Fierce battles are still going on in the city as the Syrian army continues its operations there, while large numbers of militants abandon their weapons and flee the city.
The Syrian army entered the strategic city from every front on Sunday following weeks of battle.
The Syrian army says it has also found Israeli-made rockets in a weapons cache seized from militants in Homs province.
Unrest erupted in Syria over two years ago. Many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
The Syrian government says that the chaos in the country is being orchestrated from outside, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said on May 18 that militants from 29 different countries were fighting against the government in different parts of the country.
Photo:The Israeli military has carried out three airstrikes against Syria so far this year.