More than 60 non-governmental organizations address an open letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council (18 th March 2011)

Mr. President,

The undersigned non-governmental organizations deeply deplore and condemn the slanderous smear campaign, based on lies, that has been once again launched against Professor Jean Ziegler. While the language used is the same as usual, the events in the Maghreb and the Middle East, notably the tragic civil war in Libya, are the pretext for this attack.

We all know that these events have their roots in the popular discontent born and fed in countries whose governments have denied their people freedom of speech, and have managed public affairs in their own and their allies’ interests and international markets, all to the detriment of the people. The discontent is not only because of the lack of the people’s participation in the political life of their country, but also because of their extremely poor living conditions which have already given rise t o “hunger riots” in the recent past.

It is precisely to prevent famines and malnutrition that Professor Jean Ziegler has for years alerted the international community to the violations of a fundamental human right –the right to food- which causes the planet each year millions of deaths and many more maimed. He has developed his research first, during seven years, as UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, and at present as a member of the Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council.

We consider Professor Jean Ziegler’s work on the causes of the violations of the right to food and on the measures to be taken to combat them as evidence of his incontestably sincere commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights, free of all political manipulation.

This is why the undersigned NGOs wish hereby to reaffirm their full support of Professor Jean Ziegler, member of the Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council, and express their ardent hope to see him for a very long time to contribute decisively to the evolution of policies and international standards of human rights.

Yours sincerely,

1. Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peuples (MRAP)
2. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
3. Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN International)
4. France Libertés –Fondation Danielle Mitterrand
5. BADIL, Resource Center for Palestinian residency and refugee rights
6. International Education Development
7. Cercle de Recherche sur les droits et les devoirs de la personne humaine(CRED)
8. Association of Humanitarian Lawyers
9. Agence des cites pour la coopération Nord-Sud
10. Centre Action Sociale Réhabilit ation et Réadaptation pour les Victimes de la Torture et de la violence (SOHRAM-CASRA)
11. Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA)
12. International Volunteerism organizati on for Women,Educat ion and Development (VIDES)
13. Commission Arabe des Droits Humains (CADH)
14. Al-Hakim Foundation
15. Innovations et réseaux pour le développement (IRED)
16. Arab Lawyers Union
17. Commission africaine des promoteurs de la sante et des droits de l'homme (CAPSDH)
18. Indian Movement «Tupaj Amaru »
19. World Muslim Congress
20. Centre Europe –Tiers monde (CETIM)
21. December Twelfth Movement International Secretariat
22. International Association Against Torture (IAAT-AICT)
23. Women's Human Rights International Association (WHRIA)
24. Union of Arab Jurists
25. Interfaith International
26. Pax Romana ICMICA/MIIC
27. North-South XXI
28. Action for Peace and Developm ent in the Great La kes to the United Nations (AIPD)
29. Worldwide Organization for Women
30. Hawaii Institute for Human Rights
31. Indian Council of Education
32. International Association of Schools of Social Work
33. Institute for Planetary Synthesis (IPS)
34. International Indian Treaty Council (IITC)
35. Indian Council of South America (CISA)
36. Espace –Afrique International
37. International Movement for Fraternal Union among Races and Peoples (UFER)
38. Comité International pour le Respect et l'Application de la Charte Africaine des Droits de l'Homme et des Peuples (CIRAC)
39. Interfaith International
40. General Arab Women Federation
41. Centre Independent de Recherches et d'Initiatives pour le Dialogue (CIRID)
42. OCAPROCE International
43. Assistance for a Voluntary Return and Reintegration of African Migrants (AVRRM)
44. International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
45. International Committee for the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (INCOMINDIOS Switzerland)
46. International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN)

47. Libyan League for Human Rights
48. Comité de Soutien aux Droits de l'Homme en Iran (CSDHI)
49. Iraqi Commission for Human Rights
50. Comité pour les droits de l’homme et la démocratie au Rwanda
51. Culture de Solidarité Afroinfdigène
52. Forum Civique Européen (Section Suisse)
53. International Lawyers Organisation
54. Indigenous Peoples and Nations Coalition
55. Arab Lawyers Network -UK
56. Cidadao Global
57. Tibetan UN Advocacy
58. Tamil Centre for Human Rights
59. Bureau international pour le respect des droits de l’homme au Sahara occidental (BIRDHSO)
60. Association Suisse Cuba
61. Monitoring Net of Human Rights in Iraq
62. Espacio Afroamericano
63. Aide sanitaire Suisse aux Palestiniens (ASSP)
64. Arab NGO Network -Geneva