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Top Ten worst UN actions of 2021

Every year, UN Watch, an NGO that monitors the UN Human Rights Council, publishes its Top Ten list of the UN’s most egregious actions in the calendar year. The Geneva-based NGO is often instrumental in exposing these actions, many of which contradict the basic charter of the UN to respect fundamental human rights. UN Watch also highlights the hypocrisy of the UN empowering and enabling corrupt governments whose policies also contradict the UN charter.

Here are UN Watch’s picks for 2021, starting from least worst to worst:

10. UN Review Praises Slave-Holding Mauritania’s Human Rights Record

When Mauritania came up for a mandatory UNHRC review of its human rights record, UN Watch exposed the farce of how 85% of country statements actually praised the slave-holding state’s record. North Korea commended Mauritania for its “promotion and protection of human rights”; China welcomed Mauritania’s “strategy for accelerating growth and prosperity”; Cuba praised Mauritania’s efforts to “increase the quality of life of its population.”

9. UN Rights Council Ends Yemen Investigation After Saudi Pressure

Yemen’s civil war has killed 100,000 people and displaced four million. Atrocities are widespread. Yet in October, UNHRC ended its investigation of war crimes in Yemen. Diplomats reported an intense Saudi campaign of incentives and threats against council members preceding the vote — including a threat against Indonesia to restrict their citizens’ visits to Mecca. Saudi Arabia’s military is a key figure in the Yemen war, along with Iran.

8. Belarus Elected to UN Commission on Crime Prevention

Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko rigs elections, deports political opponents and tortures protesters. Yet in April, the regime was elected to the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. A month later, Belarus illegally intercepted a commercial airliner, forcing it to land in order to seize a prominent opposition journalist.

7. Dictators Now Comprise 68% of UN Human Rights Council

Starting on January 1, 2022, a staggering 68.1% of the the UN Human Rights Council will be dictators and other serial human rights abusers. Despite UN Watch’s detailed report on their gross abuses, Qatar, Cameroon, Eritrea, Kazakhstan and Somalia were all elected in October to the UN’s top human rights body, joining China, Cuba, Russia, Libya, Pakistan and Venezuela.

6. UN Monitor Blames West for Venezuela Collapse, Absolves Maduro

Alena Douhan of Belarus, the UN Special Rapporteur on “the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures,” after her visit to Caracas blamed all of Venezuela’s problems on Western sanctions that target the regime. For parroting regime propaganda, she was hailed by Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro.

5. UN Condemns Israel 14 Times, Rest of the World 5

In 2021, the UN General Assembly singled out Israel in 14 biased resolutions, while adopting a total of five texts on the rest of the world combined.

EU states like France, Germany and Sweden, along with the UK, backed more than two-thirds of the resolutions targeting Israel, even as they failed to introduce a single UNGA resolution this year on the human rights situations in China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Cuba, Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam, Algeria, or on 175 other countries.

UN Watch’s new database tracks — and campaigns against — the politicized and counterproductive resolutions which seek only to demonize the Jewish state.

4. Syria’s Assad Regime Elected to WHO Executive Board

Despite bombing its own people in hospitals, killing countless doctors and nurses, Syria’s Assad regime was elected to the World Health Organization’s executive board.

3. UNHRC Urgent Session on Afghanistan Ignores Taliban

When the Human Rights Council finally convened a special session on the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the outcome resolution failed to condemn Taliban atrocities. The watered-down text was adopted by consensus, after the EU declined to call a vote.

In the debate, UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer raised the disturbing possibility of the Taliban government — if recognized by the UN — could inherit Afghanistan’s seat on the UN women’s rights commission.

2. UN Fires Whistleblower for Revealing They Handed Names of Dissidents to China

Whistleblower Emma Reilly exposed how the UN human rights office secretly handed over names of dissidents to the Chinese regime, allowing Beijing to know in advance which Uighur and other activists were registered to attend sessions of the UN Human Rights Council.

A day after telling her story to the Le Monde newspaper, Reilly was fired.

1. UN Elects Iran to Top Women’s Rights Body

In an April, 2021 secret ballot, the UN’s Economic and Social Council elected Iran’s gender apartheid regime to a four-year term on its Commission on the Status of Women, the “principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”

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