Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, June 19, 2006

Human Rights Council a “new chance” for UN, Annan says

BBC News reported today on the opening session of the UN Human Rights Council, the replacement body for the Human Rights Commission. Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan addressed HRC’s members, saying, “I implore you not to let the opportunity be squandered.”

He continued:

“The eyes of the world – especially the eyes of those whose human rights are denied, threatened or infringed – are turned towards this chamber and this council.”

According to Imogen Foulkes, a correspondent for BBC in Geneva, “the hope is that the new council will be more democratic, less politicized, and more effective in upholding human rights.”

The article notes that “many human rights groups believe it has the potential to be much more effective than the old 53-member commission, which had members whose own rights records were suspect.” Countries that have a poor human rights record tried for election and succeeded. These include China, Cuba, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

BBC notes that the United States was against the council’s creation, “arguing it did not go far enough to prevent countries with bad rights records from winning seats.” However, it did not rule out joining in the future.

To read this article in full click here.


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