George Soros also has his grip on the UN
A recent fact-finding report reveals that some smaller NGOs and foundations have laid their hands on the UN Human Rights Council and turned it into a vehicle for pushing their ideology.
Shocking relationships have been highlighted by the French weekly Valeurs actuelles. In its 29 July issue, a fact-finding article describes how US billionaire speculator George Soros put his hand on the UN Human Rights Council.
As previously reported by V4NA, Soros has infiltrated the European Court of Human Rights and is also providing funding to the Council of Europe, and now it has come to light that he also influences the UN Human Rights Council, an international organisation which was established to defend human rights at the highest possible level globally.
In the article divided into several sections, Valeurs actuelles gives a detailed explanation of how George Soros has managed to bring the UN Human Rights Council under his influence.
In the first chapter, the article points out the dangerous relations between the international organisations and NGOs, highlighting that the whole case erupted with an article published last February, when the weekly received a high volume of international media attention. Press from nearly every European country along with some American and Asian countries covered the story. The most significant response, however, came from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who issued a press release on Gregor Puppinck’s report, expressing concern that certain Western NGOs have gained influence within the inner circles of the European Court of Justice (ECHR).
According to Lavrov, this directly affected the impartiality and fairness of the court rulings, and called for an investigation into the dysfunctional operation so as to reduce political interference in the judicial process. The court did not initially comment on the findings of the investigation, but did not deny them either. Then in May, Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos, the outgoing Greek President of the ECHR, attended a private hearing before the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, where, in response to questions posed by the Russian and Turkish ambassadors, he did not dispute the contents of the Puppinck report, but downplayed the severity of the situation.
A few weeks thereafter, the court simply ignored a request from the Committee of Ministers to answer several written questions sent by members of the assembly. The refusal to honour the request of an intergovernmental body sets a precedent demonstrating that the ECHR does not intend to protect its members from the influence of the Open Society Foundations (OSF). The NGO, however, struck back in the autumn through the “Tracking the Backlash” network of the British Open Democracy organisation, which enjoys the generous support of OSF. On 1 November, a huge campaign was launched against the European Court of Human Rights, with international media support from outlets such as Euronews, Time magazine, Corriere della Sera and Reuters. The article condemned the US funding for an NGO linked to Jay Sekulow, a renowned US lawyer and Donald Trump advisor, but made no mention of the report on ECHR.
The second chapter is about the silent corruption stretching from Strasbourg to Geneva, and explains that Gregor Puppinck extended his investigation at the European Court of Human Rights to its corresponding institution at the UN. The article points out that the UN has three areas of activity: security, development and human rights. The latter is dealt with in two main institutions, the Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), both of which are bodies ensuring that states respect their obligations under international treaties. Gregor Puppinck had a phone conversation with the UN’s former special rapporteur, who told him that this was a very sensitive subject. The rapporteur said the funding of certain special procedures had a decisive impact on the reports published by the UN, and talked about silent infiltration. Puppinck then embarked on systematic research and conducted a thurough analysis of the financial statements published between 2015 and 2019, focusing on holders of special procedural orders. After a year of research, he came to the categorical conclusion that some private organisations were tightening their grip on human rights institutions at the highest level.
The third chapter deals with the issue of special human rights procedures, emphasizing that under the framework of the UN anyone can lodge a complaint against any state in the world, as opposed to the ECHR, which is limited to acting based on the decisions of national judges and only against countries which have ratified the European Convention on Human Rights. However, UN envoys have much broader powers: they prepare reports on their findings after visiting various countries, publish their positions on various issues, advise governments and regularly intervene in the affairs of other UN and international bodies. Reports prepared by UN envoys are official publications of the organisation, making them a credible legal reference the world over. The highest international courts, parliaments and judges refer to them, making them sources for international law and their authors have significant influence.
Apostles of human rights
The fourth chapter of the article deals with so-called “independent experts” who are selected on the basis of criteria such as objectivity, impartiality, competence, experience, independence and personal integrity. In order to guarantee their independence, these experts are not on the UN payroll and receive no remuneration for their services. However, this independence carries two risk. Firstly, the risk of taking advantage of having free rein in his work, the expert may be tempted to apply an extremist view of human rights. Secondly, not receiving pay for their work may make some experts susceptible to accepting various recognitions, awards and other benefits in kind without the UN finding this practice problematic. In order to ensure the independence of the experts, the UN has issued a code of conduct stating that they may not accept honours, prizes, favours, donations or rewards from any governmental or non-governmental source for their work under their mandate, but in practice this has not prevented the experts being funded by external, private or public actors.
Money, money, money
Financing experts is only the tip of the iceberg. Chapter five shows that special procedures are funded by the UN through the High Commissioner, with each state contributing equally to cover the costs which amounted to 168 million dollars between 2015 and 2019. This proved to be insufficient as the independent experts had to have their own aparatus and cover their own expenses. One expert told Puppinck that the real problem was that they weren’t supported by the system and didn’t have enough financial resources to do all the work they intended. Without external funding, they would be nothing more than a low-budget mechanism in the field of human rights. As far as topping off the budget financing, some states may decide to contribute more than their minimum share, but most of the extra funding comes from universities and private foundations, and is completely untraceable by the UN as experts are not obligated to declare the origins of their external resources.
In the five years investigated by Gregor Puppinck, some 10 million dollars wandered into the pockets of 37 of the 121 experts in various amounts. An expert said they received over 2 million dollars, another talked about more than a million. Six others received over 500 thousand, and eleven pocketed more than 100 thousand dollars. More than half of the 10 million dollars came from private foundations, with the biggest portion, 2.2 million dollars, arriving from the Ford Foundation, while George Soros’s Open Society Foundations provided 1.5 million. The most obvious answer to the question of why the UN tolerates such experts is that this situation is not limited to the special procedures but exists more broadly within the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. In 2019 it received 63 per cent of its budget from voluntary donations, but refused to publish ageement contents at the request of donating NGO’s.
Not all experts are the same
Chapter six deals with the differences between experts, revealing that the standard of living of an expert depends on how closely they identified with the donor NGO ideologically and their level of rapport. A rapporteur, for example, reported that he had received more than 3 million dollars thanks to his relationship with key people in the foundations.
He who pays the piper calls the tune
Chapter seven focuses on the benefactors of the rapporteurs, who do not act out of philanthropy but out of political expediency. The NGOs often use various devious ways and financial packages to pay experts, for example the Ford Foundation, which in 2017 paid 100,000 dollars to the NGO employing an expert to allow him to work freely on his UN mandate. The report cites several such examples. The article also points out that the donor guides the conclusions of the reports and determines research topics as well. This is why the UN is opposed to pre-allocated grants, as funding for a specific project limits the scope of the rapporteur’s possible actions. The article claims that a former rapporteur of an important mandate confirmed this informal transfer of authority is almost official in these circles. The Open Society Foundations makes no secret of the fact that the relationship with beneficiaries is important not only for financial reasons but also for gaining allies who help the organisation to achieve its strategic goals.
The Open Society Foundations
The eighth part is about George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, which does not hide its intention to control the mechanism of human rights – so muchso as to write it in black and write in its working documents. In 2017, the foundation paid 100,000 dollars to the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), a feminist activist centre affiliated with Rutgers University in New Jersey. The aim of the donation was to influence the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery to include in the report that domestic work is a form of slavery. To achieve this, the CWGL did its best to guide the rappoteur in the “right” direction. The organisation in question defines itself as a specialist in lobbying at the UN, and its director for global lobbying activity, Melissa Upreti previously worked for the biggest pro-abortion lobby, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and is also active in the NGO Open Democracy as well as chairing the UN’s Working Group on Discrimination Against Women. In summary, Melissa Upreti, who is active in the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) can easily influence the UN expert group she chairs, and several members of that group took part in meetings organised by CWGL before compiling the thematic report.
The Ford Foundation
Chapter 9 deals with the Ford Foundation, which, despite being a lot more discreet than Open Society, is highly effective. In 2011 after Juan Mendez of Argentina was appointed as the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, they created the Anti-Torture Initiative within the Center for Humanitarian Law at the Washington University with the support of the university and generously funded by the Ford Foundation. In 2015 they granted 15,000 dollars followed by an additional 75,000 dollars to pay for a report on gender and torture, research assistants, travels and consultations. The report makes no mention of torture in the Gunatanamo Bay detention camp, on the other hand, it defines abortion as a form of torture. In 2018, the report served used as the basis for the book “Gender Perspectives on Torture: Law and Practice” which was published with the support of the Ford Foundation and presented at the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. The report is viewed as authoritative text across the world, and has been cited in numerous judgements by supranational courts, especially the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
NGOs at the UN
Chapter 10 details that out of the 222 UN rapporteurs in office since 2010, at least 52 have worked or are still working for an NGO, mainly in the Ford Foundation, the Open Society or for other NGOs affiliated with these. These are the same NGOs that provided the Soros judges in the European Court of Human Rights, namely the Amnesty International (14 experts), the International Commission of Jurists (12 experts), the Open Society itself (6 experts), the Human Rights Watch (4 experts) and the Helsinki Committee. Out of the 47 experts on the Coordination Committee 17, or 36 per cent, are from these NGOs. Gregor Puppinck’s report also reveals that most UN experts act as activists of the NGOs, they promote their own political views, violating the code of conduct. As an example, the article mentions UN rapporteur Tlaleng Mofokeng, a famed abortion activist, who is sitting on the board of directors of eight pro-abortion African organisations, has received awards from the Gates Foundation and was granted financial support by the Open Society. Mokofeng is also present in the media, hosting the television show Sex Talk with Dr Tet, published a sex education book teaching sadomasochistic practices, and considers the legalisation of prostitution as the ultimate form of feminism.
The role of universities
The final, eleventh chapter, discusses the role of universities, highlighting that UN rapporteurs are not only cherry-picked from the ranks of NGOs. UN consultant Ahmed Shaheed, for example, regularly lectures at Essex University and at City University of New York as a visiting professor, for which he has received GBP 144,500 from the Sigrid Rausing Trust. Some years later, Shaheed was appointed as lecturer in religious freedom at the Centre for Human Rights at Essex University and at the Ralph Bunche Institute in New York, a position perfectly in line with his work at the UN. However, unlike his predecessors, he has developed an atheist and communal mindset and promotes the spreading of the concept of Islamophobia at the universities. Later, in 2015, Dainius Puras – a new colleague, also from the University of Essex – ends uőp as Special Rapporteur for Health at the UN. His research activities were funded by Open Society to the tune of USD 100,000 in 2017 and another USD 380,000 in 2018, while Puras himself claims to have received only five thousand dollars. Essex University’s case is not unique, the are similar connections between other universities and foundations. Open Society was involved in similar activities in New York, New Jersey, or at Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, while the Ford Foundation supported UN experts in New York, Washington, Arizona, California and Sao Paulo.
The article comes to the final conclusion that human rights have simply been seized by the NGOs. The large foundations like the Ford, the Open Society or the Gates Foundation are financially connected to the UN, infiltrating the human rights ecosystem. These foundations, NGOs and university centres form the base layer on which many UN experts feed and operate. All in all, it is nothing but the slow and profound ideological undermining and hijacking of an entire system.