After multiple delays over legal, due process, and methodological concerns, which do not seem to have been addressed, on February 12, 2020, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published its “Database of all business enterprises” that it claims contribute to “human rights concerns.” This UN blacklist, ordered by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), is meant to bolster BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, singling out Israel. The unique treatment of Israel in this exercise, as with many other HRC initiatives, violates the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Definition of antisemitism.
UN Blacklist Delay
Echoing concerns raised by NGO Monitor, the blacklist was first delayed in February 2017. According to the UN, “There is a need for more time, it is a very complex issue…You need to have a clear vision of how you list the companies, what is the exact criteria.”
In January 2018, citing “limited resources,” the blacklist was delayed once again as the OHCHR had not yet notified all the companies on the list.
On March 4, 2019, the blacklist was delayed a third time. In a letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council, OHCHR Commissioner Bachelet wrote that “further consideration is necessary…My office shall continue to devote requisite attention to the matter, with a view to finalizing this mandated activity in coming months.”
Read NGO Monitor’s Press Releases “Anti-Israel Blacklist Set to Be Delayed by UN Human Rights Council” (February 14, 2017) and “Statement on UN Blacklist Delay” (January 31, 2018)