UN Watch has criticized the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights for endorsing the Arab Charter of Human Rights.
The charter, according to a letter sent to High Commissioner Louise Arbour, includes “blatantly anti-Semitic statements” and equates Zionism with racism, a concept that was rejected by the United Nations in 1991.
The preamble of the Arab Charter states that the signatories are “Rejecting racism and zionism, which constitute a violation of human rights and pose a threat to world peace.”
The Arab League adopted the charter in 1994, but it did not have the required number of endorsers until earlier this month when the United Arab Emirates became the seventh of 22 member states to ratify it.
On Jan. 24, Arbour released a statement welcoming theratification.
UN Watch urged Arbour to clarify her endorsement.
“As you know, Zionism is the movement for Jewish self-determination and asserts the inherent and internationally-acknowledged right of Israel to exist,” the letter said. “A text that equates Zionism with racism, describes it as a threat to world peace, as an enemy of human rights and human dignity, and then urges its elimination, is blatantly anti-Semitic.”
The letter notes that former Secretary-General Kofi Annan described the U.N. General Assembly’s 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution as a low point of the U.N.’s record on anti-Semitism. It also encourages Arbour “to hold accountable any members of your Office who were or should have been aware of , but failed to call your attention to, these racist provisions.”