Jean Ziegler

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Jean Ziegler is a former Swiss Socialist lawmaker.


Nomination to U.N. Human Rights Council

Jean Ziegler was nominated by the Swiss government to occupy one of 18 advisory positions on the U.N. Human Rights Council in March 2008.


The nomination for this position has been highly controversial due to his political background. As a result, U.N. Watch, a Geneva-based nongovernmental organization, and 14 other NGOs to write the Swiss government urging it to withdraw his candidacy.

Political Background

  • In 2004, Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez nominated Ziegler for this same post.
  • Ziegler has said the U.S. is committing "genocide" in Cuba
  • Ziegler has also accused Israel of "state terror" and "war crimes" with the U.S.'s blessing.
  • Earlier in March 2008, Ziegler filed a report with the U.N. Human Rights Council blaming not a half-century of Communist rule, but America's "illegal blockade" of the island as Cuba's main obstacle to feeding its people.
  • From 2000 to 2004, Ziegler remained silent on a number of food emergencies in Burundi, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, and elsewhere.
  • In 1986, Ziegler served as adviser to Ethiopian dictator Colonel Mengistu on a constitution instituting one-party rule.
  • In 2002, Ziegler praised Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe, saying, "Mugabe has history and morality with him."
  • During a 2008 interview in Lebanon, Ziegler said, "I refuse to describe Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. It is a national resistance movement. I can understand Hezbollah when they kidnap soldiers."
  • In 1989 Ziegler went to Libya to co-found the "Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize." Recipients of this prestigious honor have included Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Louis Farrakhan. and Ziegler himself in 2002.
  • In an unprecedented move, both Secretary-General Kofi Annan and High Commissioner Louise Arbour publicly denounced Ziegler in 2005 for comparing Israeli soldiers to concentration camp guards.[1]


  1. IBD Editorial, U.N.-Believable Choice, Retrieved 30 April 2008