Comments by David G. Littman, NGO Representative UN-Geneva: Association for World Education (AWE); World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ)
I received an email this morning – indirectly – by an Arab Affairs Correspondent from an American news agency who was in the midst of, as she explained:
I’m writing a piece about the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Apparently the OIC is planning to set up a human rights division within its ranks, following a meeting between its secretary general and the UN high commissioner for human rights. I’d like to know what your opinion is of this move. Do you think this is a PR move? Is it too little, too late? Do you think this kind of commission can be effective and will bring about any changes in the situation of human rights in Muslim countries? Kindly get back to me as soon as you can so that I can quote you in a written item…you can see more details here.
One ‘click’ provided a glimpse at a fascinating meeting at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia between OIC Secretary General Professor Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mrs. Navanethem Pillay (below). This was a clear follow-up to Ihsanoglu’s statement made seven weeks earlier at the UN Human Rights Council, which was quoted at length in our 19 April Jihad Watch piece: Let me conclude on a happy note.
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Although our opinion was received “too late” to be used, it might be useful to share it with Jihad Watch readers worldwide, especially in view of the OIC’s very noteworthy information that: “The High Commissioner congratulated the Secretary General on the prospective establishment of the Commission and assured full support of her Office in its formative phase.” This is it:
Two days ago I posted a long piece on Jihad Watch (with a video) to enable people worldwide to ‘see’ what is happening at the Human Rights Council. I have copied below a few lines (in red) from my accompanying essay which quotes OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu when he spoke at the 13th session of the HRC on 1st March 2010. You have my ‘opinion’ just below [it follows here without that quotation]:
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To sum up, I’d recommend that delightful ‘story’ of the Emperor by Hans Christian Anderson when only a child dares say “The Emperor is naked.” – What the OIC will be offering to the world is a stark naked 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam with Sharia-gate Human Rights ‘clothing’, all this as “a paradigm shift within the OIC” – and a panacea for human rights worldwide. When will the world finally ‘see’ that evident truth and cry out that the OIC is as naked as the fairy-tale Emperor?
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Hillel C. Neuer, the very active and effective NGO Executive Director of UN Watch in Geneva, yesterday posted an excellent denunciation concerning the publication by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on 19 April of “a press release misrepresented the one-sided nature of the UN Human Rights Council’s permanent investigative mandate on Israel, currently held by Richard Falk, who happens to be America’s leading promoter of 9/11 conspiracy theories.” This press release was released on the same day as the High Commissioner was greeted in Jeddah by the OIC Secretary General and ‘briefed’ on The Independent Permanent OIC Human Rights Commission; and that of our lengthy article here.
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OIC Secretary General Receives the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Date: 19/04/2010 – View in: Arabic | French – Print
Mrs. Navanethem Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the Secretary General Professor Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah as part of her visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In welcoming the guests, the Secretary General appreciated the confident, objective and impartial manner in which the High Commissioner had performed the difficult task with a sincerity of purpose since the assumption of the important office.
The Secretary General informed the High Commissioner that the OIC was on the verge of establishing an Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights. The statute of the Commission was near finalization and likely to be entered into force following adoption by the forthcoming Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers due to be held in Dushanbe next month. He emphasized that the establishment of the Commission must be viewed as a landmark event and a most positive development in the four decade long history of the Organization. Briefing the High Commissioner on the OIC Human Rights Commission, the Secretary General expressed the hope that the establishment of the Commission will introduce a paradigm shift within the OIC in the way universal human rights and freedoms flow together with Islamic values to offer a coherent and strong system aimed at facilitating the full enjoyment of all human rights in the OIC member states. The High Commissioner congratulated the Secretary General on the prospective establishment of the Commission and assured full support of her Office in its formative phase. She also thanked Secretary General for his leadership and contribution to the successful outcome of the Durban Review Conference and indicated her hope for a continued cooperation with the OIC in the future.
The meeting afforded the opportunity of exchange of views on the whole range of issues pertaining to the OIC’s engagement with the Office of the High Commissioner and ended with the agreement to continue to build on the cooperation and coordination between the two Organizations.