UN Watch is a Geneva-based NGO which seeks to monitor the United Nation's performance based upon the UN's own charter. It is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee.
UN Watch is asking that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemn the selection of Iran to the working group and to a leadership position in the Arms Trade Treaty talks especially given Iran's role in smuggling of arms to Syria and other rogue nations.
“Right after a UN Security Council report found Iran guilty of illegally transferring guns and bombs to Syria, which is now murdering thousands of its own people, it defies logic, morality and common sense for the UN to now elect this same regime to a global post regulating the transfer of guns and bombs,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental monitoring group based in Geneva.In one way it is good that a nation like Iran is elected to a leadership position at the Arms Trade Treaty talks because it illustrates vividly what an illegitimate exercise these talks have become. That the Obama Administration and the State Department are even participating in them is a disgrace.
“This is like choosing Bernie Madoff to police fraud on the stock market. And the U.N.’s scandalous choice of Iran is exactly why we fear that Syria’s declared bid for a U.N. Human Rights Council seat is not impossible.”
UN Watch called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the conference on the same day as the election, to condemn the decision to give Iran a position of responsibility in regulating the arms trade.
“He should remind the conference that the Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its probited nuclear program, and that Iran continues to defy the international community through illegal arms shipments to the murderous Assad regime,” said Neuer.
“Syria continues to be the central party to illicit Iranian arms transfers,” the Security Council report recently found, citing the discovery of Iranian shipments to Damascus of assault rifles, machineguns, explosives, detonators, 60mm and 120mm mortal shells and other items.
Neuer expressed concern that the UN’s election of Iran “injects ambiguity about the U.N.’s position on illicit Iranian arms transfers, fuels Iranian propaganda, and grants international legitimacy to a regime that tortures student activists, hangs gays and subjugates women.”