Elevating Flagrant Violators of Human Rights to Key Positions is Status Quo at the UN and the U.S. Must Demand Reforms or Withhold Its Dues, says Ros-Lehtinen

Jan 30, 2013 Issues: Foreign Affairs


(WASHINGTON) - U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement on the selection of Sudan to be Vice President at the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC):

“I wish that I could say that this announcement comes as a shock to me but unfortunately this is business as usual for the UN as Sudan, a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism, has been selected to be one of four Vice Presidents within ECOSOC. It is unacceptable that the UN’s modus operandi is to take the most egregious violators of human rights and elevate them to leadership positions within its body.

 “The genocidal Sudanese regime will now influence a UN body that has the responsibility to regulate the Human Rights Council, which continues to delegitimize its mission by allowing rogue regimes to hold a seat within their institution. This is completely beyond the pale. To say this hurts the credibility of the UN would presuppose that the UN even had any credibility left at this point.

 “The United States keeps throwing money away by continuing to fund a broken system at the UN where villains are held in high esteem. I continue to urge the Obama Administration to stop spending billions of dollars of hard earned taxpayer funds and withhold them to the UN until they make concrete reforms."

 NOTE: In 2011, Ros-Lehtinen introduced H.R. 2829, the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2011, which required the United Nations to switch its funding mechanism from an assessed basis to a voluntary basis. This shift would have empowered the U.S. and other member-states to use their strongest leverage at the UN – their monetary contributions – to press for badly needed reform. The voluntary funding structure would also allow the U.S. and others to prevent their contributions from funding discredited organizations and initiatives, such as the Human Rights Council, which undermine their own foreign policy goals. The legislation also includes provisions restricting U.S. participation on the Human Rights Council and withholding funding to the UN proportionate to what is allocated for Council activities. This legislation enjoyed the support of more than 140 cosponsors, and was marked up and reported favorably by the House Foreign Affairs Committee last year.

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