(Illustration) Syrian children
(Illustration) Syrian childrenReuters

The UN Watch watchdog group has slammed the United Nations for its “apathy” in the face of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

UN watch executive-director Hillel Neuer slammed the Human Rights Council in a meeting this week.

“Three weeks have passed since Syria gassed to death hundreds of its own men, women, and children — and still the council closes its eyes, refusing our call for an emergency session,” he accused.

“Madam President, why is this monstrous crime being treated here with such apathy, banality and triteness? Where is this council’s moral outrage? Where is its sense of urgency?” he demanded.

“Can a human rights body that ignores this atrocity be deemed credible, effective, or in any way relevant?” Neuer added.

Neuer called for self-examination on the part of UN leaders.

“Why were the killers of Damascus time and again promoted by this organization to key positions, awarded a legitimacy they never deserved? ...Why was Syria elected in 2011 to UNESCO’s human rights committee? Why is Assad still there, despite our repeated appeals?” he asked.

“Finally, why is it, that of the 10 Agenda Items for this session, only one specific country is listed, and it’s Israel — whose hospitals, as we speak, are quietly treating dozens of Syria’s injured victims?”

Neuer concluded, “Let us state the truth: if the UN allocated just one-hundredth of the moral outrage it uses against the only democracy in the Middle East, murderous dictators like Assad might have been shamed, isolated and weakened, instead of elevated, celebrated and strengthened as champions of human rights.”

Neuer previously noted that whilst Syria’s bid for reelection to the UN Human Rights Council is expected to fail, in the meantime, the UN has elected Syria to the human rights committee of its world agency on education, science and culture. This as the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad stands accused of human rights violations including torture of prisoners and the use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Iran was also a candidate for inclusion on the Human Rights Council, but left the race after UN Watch publicized - and condemned - its candidacy.