The human rights chief for the United Nations has given his two cents on the U.S. election.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said if Donald Trump were to win the race for the White House next month it would be “dangerous from an international point of view.”
Zeid, a Jordanian prince, said comments made by Trump on torture and about vulnerable communities are “deeply unsettling and disturbing.”
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations has said Zeid shouldn’t criticize foreign heads of state and government.
However, Zeid said he doesn’t plan to tone down his remarks.
“Clearly I am not keen or intent on interfering in any political campaign within any particular country, but where the comments point to a potential – depending on the results of the election – for an increase in, for instance, the use of torture, which is prohibited under the Convention against Torture, or the focus on vulnerable communities in a way that suggests that they may well be deprived of their rights, their human rights, then I think it is incumbent to say so,” Zeid said.
While many in the Republican Party are willing to dump Trump over the presidential candidate’s 2005 remarks in which he said he fondled women without consent, the developer of Vancouver’s Trump Tower is staying firm.
The idea to change the name of the under-construction Trump Tower in Vancouver was first floated in December 2015 after Donald Trump proposed to ban all Muslims from entering the United States if he were elected president in 2016.
Even Vancouver’s Mayor Gregor Robertson weighed in, sending a passionate letter to the developer asking to dump the Trump name from the building, first announced in 2013.
Furthermore, an Angus Reid poll found 62 per cent of Canadians wanted the Trump name off the towers in Vancouver and Toronto.
At the time, the Trump campaign was in its infancy and nine other candidates stood between the businessman and the presidential nomination.
Now, 10 months and countless political debacles by Trump later, a portion of the Republican Party has vowed to disavow the candidate.
A bombastic debate performance and a Twitter rant criticizing Paul Ryan and the Republican Party followed Friday’s explosive leak catching Trump on a hot mic while filming a 2005 episode of Access Hollywood. In the tapes, Trump claims to have grabbed women by the genitals without consent because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
His comments created the biggest story of the 2016 election so far, and resulted in an unprecedented fallout among senior party leaders.
Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former California Governor Arnold Shwarzenegger, former presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich, Arizona Senator John McCain, and George W. Bush’s former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were among the dozens of current and former party leaders to denounce Trump following his comments about women.
But the developers of the businessman’s skyscraper in B.C. – the Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver – are standing by their man.
A spokesperson for The Holborn Group refused to comment on Trump’s politics and would not offer justification as to why the company continues to stick with the Trump brand. They only referred back to their statement issued last December in the midst of calls to drop the name.
They added that they are under contractual obligation to keep the name.
And while the tower appears to be almost finished – lamps and furniture can be seen in the windows into the hotel portion of the tower – the building will not open until January 2017. It was originally set for August, and then fall 2016.
The timing is suspect, according to experts.
Lindsay Meredith, professor of marketing at Simon Fraser University, says celebrity endorsements like this can be a “PR nightmare.”
“The endorsement is a problem, because Donald seems to shoot his face off a lot and manage to offend a lot of people.”
He suggests the developers could be purposefully delaying the opening to avoid the negative connotations with the Trump brand. In the span of a few months, the presidential nominee has managed to offend many groups, including Mexicans, Muslims, the disabled, African-Americans, prisoners of war, combat heroes, Asians, and women.
“You try not to go to market at the same time your candidate is blowing the roof off things with his comments. Wait for the election to be over, let the dust settle a little bit, then go to market.”
He added businesses, like Holborn, should not go to market when “all hell is breaking loose… and Donny is pretty good at breaking the hell loose.”
The Trump Tower installed massive chrome lettering spelling ‘Trump’ earlier in the summer, but covered it in blue tarps a short time later. A spokesperson at the time shrugged off questions about why the signage was covered, saying the tarps protected it from scratches from construction debris. But Meredith suspects it was a PR move.
“From a marketing stand point, poor old Holborn is between a rock and a hard spot.”
Meredith said Holborn is wise to wait until the election is over to let the dust settle, as many buyers in Vancouver wouldn’t touch the brand with a 10-foot pole.
But that all depends on what manner Trump handles himself in the coming months. If more insensitive comments keep hitting the news, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if the project was delayed further.
“Hopefully Donny says nothing more about Canadian health care or Canadian women for that matter, god knows what… I’m so glad I’m not a consultant on this job.”