The Obama Administration sent two “top envoys” to a religious freedom conference — in Saudi Arabia:
UN Watch expressed alarm that the participation of Ambassador Joachim Ruecker, president of the UN Human Rights Council, would grant “false international legitimacy to a regime that beheads people in the town square, systematically oppresses women, Christians, and gays, and jails innocent bloggers like Raif Badawi for the crime of challenging the rulers’ radical brand of Wahabbist Islam.”
The Obama Administration sent two top envoys to participate, religious freedom ambassador David Saperstein, and Arsalan Suleman, Acting Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Also, Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, addressed one of the panels.
“We urge the council president, the UN expert, and the two U.S. envoys to, at a minimum, denounce Saudi Arabia for its gross and systematic violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of religion. He should also demand that Saudi Arabia end its subjugation of women, in violation of the Article 2 equality guarantee.”
The Jeddah conference is the 5th meeting under what is called the “Istanbul Process” to implement the controversial UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, entitled “Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence Against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief.”
To be fair, it’s a lot easier to make grand statements against “intolerance, negative stereotyping” and all the rest, than it is to actually do something about oppressive Islamist regimes.