U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement after rogue regimes have been appointed to the UN's Commission on the Status of Women and the U.N. Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Statement by Ros-Lehtinen
"It's unconscionable that the UN has allowed a human rights violator like Iran to sit on its Commission on the Status of Women. Iran has a long and clear history of denying fundamental freedoms not only to women but to all of its people suffering under this brutal regime. In 2014 alone, hundreds of people have been executed, including many women, and thousands of prisoners of conscience continue to languish in Iranian prisons. To have Iran be a member of the commission responsible for setting global standards and policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide is an affront to women everywhere and only proves how broken the UN system has become.
"But the UN's hypocrisy doesn't end with adding Iran to the Commission on the Status of Women. Other gross human rights abusers like Cuba, China, Sudan, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Russia are set to join Iran on the committee responsible for overseeing NGOs. Human rights organizations trying to promote democratic principles will be under greater threat now that these repressive regimes will sit on the NGO committee. The tyrants and thugs Castro, Ortega, Maduro, and Putin use oppressive tactics to jail freedom seekers and to silence civil society, and will use this venue as a bully pulpit from which to inhibit the promotion of democratic ideals.
"The U.S. cannot sit idly by and let the UN endanger civil society and undermine women's rights at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. I have introduced legislation, HR 3155 -- United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act seeking to change the funding mechanism to the UN to help reform the broken system. I urge the Obama administration to leverage our contributions to the UN and make it conditional upon the implementation of real, substantive reforms."