NEW YORK — In anticipation of the upcoming elections of the 2016-2018 members of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), the Lantos Foundation, and UN Watch will host a luncheon at the United Nations at 12:00pm on Tuesday, October 27, in opposition to bids from a collection of authoritarian states to sit on the council. Governments aiming to join the U.N.’s top human rights body include Ethiopia, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
The briefing will include testimony from women’s rights advocate and Pakistan expert Dr. Qanta Ahmed as well as Diego Arria, the former president of the U.N. Security Council. HRF president Thor Halvorssen and UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer will jointly present a report evaluating the countries that have submitted candidacies for the upcoming election of new members to the UNHRC.
“Elected members promise to ‘uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights,’ but in the case of the governments of Ethiopia, Pakistan, the UAE, and Venezuela, this promise is reduced to a mockery,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen. “The likely election of these four human rights violators would permit them to hide their abuses behind a cloak of U.N. legitimacy. Once on the council, these governments are easily able to stifle any attempts to investigate their crimes,” said Halvorssen.