The list of countries which do not send a representative to this week´s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo makes interesting reading:
China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq , Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco.
Many of the countries on the list are not known for promoting free speech and treating dissidents decently.
But, what is even more interesting to note, is that the UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay has chosen not to attend - or even send a representative. A representative for this year´s prize winner, Liu Xiaobo, had this to say:
In a statement released to the press, Yang Jianli, a Chinese dissident who represents Liu before the Nobel committee, accused the U.N. officials of neglecting their duties. "Ms. Pillay's decision is a clear and unequivocal abdication of her responsibilities as high commissioner, which I believe resulted from direct pressure from the Chinese government," Yang said. "It is especially concerning because it occurs in the wake of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's refusal to raise Dr. Liu's case when he met with Chinese President Hu Jintao shortly Dr. Liu was announced as the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate."
Not very brave, dear UN representatives!