In what may have been the biggest trolling of the United Nations in recent history, Saudi Arabia was elected via secret ballot in the UN Economic and Social Council to the 45-member UN Commission on the Status of Women last week. According to Reuters, twelve other countries were also elected by the council in Geneva to serve for a four-year term, ending in 2022: Algeria, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Iraq, Japan, South Korea, Turkmenistan, Ecuador, Haiti and Nicaragua.
The news promptly sparked mocking and ridicule. UN Watch, a human rights organization monitoring the performance of the United Nations, strongly condemned the appointment of Saudi Arabia to post,citing Riyadh’s poor women’s rights record and widespread gender inequality.
“Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief. It’s absurd,” Hillel Neuer, the UN Watch chief, said.