A Geneva-based United Nations watchdog group, UN Watch, called on the United States and the European Union Thursday to strongly protest the United Nations’ appointment of North Korea as the President of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament.
“Bare months after the U.N. finally suspended Libya’s Col. Muammar Qaddafi from its Human Rights Council, North Korea wins the propaganda coup of heading the world’s disarmament agency,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, said in a statement. “It’s asking the fox to guard the chickens, and damages the U.N.’s credibility.”
“In his initial address to the Conference as president, So Se Pyong of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said that he was very much committed to the Conference and during his presidency he welcomed any sort of constructive proposals that strengthened the work and credibility of the body,” read the U.N. press release about the appointment.
North Korea’s appointment occurred based on the Conference’s rules, which dictate that each member nation be given the leadership position for a four-week period on a rotating basis.
“While the U.N. will likely defend North Korea’s appointment as simply an automatic rotation,” said Neuer in the UN Watch statement, “no system should tolerate such a fundamental conflict of interests. It’s common sense that a disarmament body should not be headed by the world’s arch-villain on illegal weapons and nuclear proliferation, notorious for exporting missiles and nuclear know-how to fellow rogue regimes around the globe.”