- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 3, 2005

GENEVA — The Bush administration’s anger at those who use the United Nations as a platform to broadcast anti-American rhetoric boiled over last week when a U.N. “rapporteur” — who had not visited Iraq — blamed the U.S. military for growing malnutrition among Iraqi children.

Jean Ziegler, a longtime critic of the United States who is the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food, began his attack on Washington at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.

In a report to the commission, the Swiss professor of sociology blamed the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq for nearly doubling malnutrition among children younger than 5.

U.S. Ambassador Kevin E. Moley said: “First, he has not visited Iraq; secondly, he is wrong.”

“So we wish Jean Ziegler, in all his reporting, would stick to the facts, but in his case it would leave him little to say,” Mr. Motley said.

Mr. Ziegler, a member of the executive committee of Socialist International who teaches at the University of Geneva, was appointed in September 2000 by the former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.

Rapporteur is a French term often used by the United Nations to describe an independent reporter and investigator.

The encounter with the Bush administration last week was not Mr. Ziegler’s first.

In October, the administration turned down a request by Mr. Ziegler to meet with U.S. officials to discuss the American embargo against Cuba.

U.S. officials took issue with Mr. Ziegler’s conclusion that the embargo contributes to hunger in the communist nation and is a clear violation of international law.

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