Top UN Women official sparks outage after backing ‘Gaza genocide’ remarks

Sarah Douglas has been accused of breaching impartiality rules


Sarah Douglas has been accused of beaching United Nations impartiality rules (Photo: LinkedIn)

A leading United Nations official has been accused of breaching impartiality rules after she liked tweets that condemned Israeli "genocide" and claimed the "forces of empire" were teaming up to crush the Palestinian people's "struggle for freedom".

Sarah Douglas, the deputy chief for peace, security and resilience at UN Women, endorsed a string of incendiary claims on social media following Hamas’s October 7 attack.

The revelations have led senior politicians - including American senators Rick Scott and Marsha Blackburn - to call for the bureaucrat to be stripped of her office.

One tweet liked by Douglas that was posted on 16 October read: "We are currently witnessing all the forces of empire team up to annihilate the Palestinian people and struggle for freedom."

A tweet posted by Jewish Voice for Peace on 11 December and also liked by Douglas that accused America of "funding and arming the genocide in Gaza".

An 18 November tweet liked by Douglas declared: "The tide has turned. Young people simply will not allow our politicians to keep supporting the mass murder of Palestinians."

During a webcam broadcast to the UN earlier this month, Douglas could be seen with a Palestine poster behind her.

Douglas has also liked several tweets from left wing American politicians attacking Israel.

One, posted by New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on November 18, said: "Conditioning aid to Israel, as we do with virtually all other US allies, is a responsible course of action."

A post by Congresswoman Rashida Talib on November 30 said: "15,000 Palestinian including over 6,000 children have been killed by the Israeli government.

“Netanyahu is starving Gaza. I stood in solidarity with elected officials, artists, and advocates on a hunger strike in front of the @WhiteHouse to demand a permanent ceasefire now."

Legal advocacy group UKLFI said it believed that Sarah Douglas’ “overt political activity, including her public endorsement of extreme statements by politicians and political organisations amounts to a material breach of her UN obligation to be neutral and impartial”.

UN guidelines published in 2019 say: “As international civil servants, staff members are required to be mindful at all times that their conduct on social media must be consistent with the principles set out in the United Nations Charter”.

They add: “Staff must ensure that the expression of their personal views and convictions on social media does not adversely affect their official duties, reflect poorly on their status as international civil servants or call into question their duty of loyalty, impartiality and responsibility to the organisation.”

UN Women was previously condmend for taking 50 days to comment on the sexual violence committed against Israeli women on October 7.

At a London rally held earlier this month, campaigners wore tape over their mouths and held sings declaring, "UN Women your silence is loud."

Organiser Hilla Lousky Vigder told attendees: “All murdered, raped, abused, humiliated, mutilated women and all the ones who are still in captivity as we stand here today, and all the survivors, deserve much better than words.

“We will not tolerate this, and we won’t be silenced. We won’t stop. This act of UN Women will never be forgiven or forgotten.”

Responding to Douglas’s social media activity, Senator Scott said: “It’s been 74 days since Iran-backed Hamas terrorists took hundreds hostage, and the silence of @UN_Women on the evil and barbaric sexual abuse of women speaks volumes. Sarah Douglas should not keep her job. These innocent women deserve better.”

Senator Blackburn wrote: “@UN_Women has been silent about Hamas’ atrocities toward innocent civilians. It is time for terrorist sympathizer Sarah Douglas to go.”

UKLFI director Caroline Turner said: “The purpose of the UN is to maintain international peace and security, to develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation and to be a centre for harmonising the actions of nations.

“In order to achieve those objectives UN staff must strive to maintain objectivity, impartiality and independence. The UN guidelines highlight the importance of all staff and civil servants exercising restraint on expressing their personal views and maintaining impartiality in order to work towards those objectives.

“It is significant that UN Women failed to issue any statement condemning the rape of women in Israel by the Hamas terrorists on 7 October until a considerable time had elapsed, and only after there was considerable external pressure for them to do so.

“This shows that bias, such as that from Ms Douglas, has had a detrimental effect on the UN’s work.”

UN Women have been contacted for comment.

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