WIESENTHAL CENTER STATEMENT ON U.S. ENTRY TO UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

March 31, 2009

WIESENTHAL CENTER STATEMENT ON U.S. ENTRY TO UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish NGO at the United Nations, is urging the White House to tie America’s entry into the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to significant changes at the Rights body.

“It’s no secret that until now the UNHRC--from Darfur to Tibet--has enabled governments to cover up their own dismal human rights records, instead of standing up for the victims of genocide and terror,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “To date the only country guaranteed to be singled out, over and over again for condemnation, for real or imagined crimes has been the State of Israel,” he added.

Cooper indicated that a senior U.S. diplomat had informed him of this move at a recent meeting at the UN in New York. “We hope that that the Obama Administration’s move will strengthen the cause of human rights, but if they discover that it will just be business as usual at the United Nations, that the U.S. will have the courage and conviction to leave,” Cooper said.

“We hope that that the Obama Administration’s move will strengthen the cause of human rights, but if they discover that it will just be business as usual at the United Nations, than the U.S. should have the courage and conviction to leave,” Cooper concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036.