Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, June 11, 2007

U.N. Human Rights Council begins crucial session

As the United Nations Human Rights Council continues to monitor the status of human rights in the world, crucial discussions are underway as member country representatives meet for the body’s fifth session this week, AFP reported Sunday.

To more actively advocate for global human rights, the 47-member Council has until the end of June to determine the apparatus by which to remain impartial yet effective. One of the most important discussions will concern the implementation of a new systematic review process of the human rights record for each U.N. member state each four years. This new mechanism will be known as universal periodic review and seeks to highlight violations as well as progress made by member states as a means of leveling the playing field between political rhetoric and actual implementation concerning human rights compliance.

Still, tensions have surfaced as the West and Latin American countries have envisioned different approaches than those put forward by African and Arab countries. Many have criticized the African group’s suggestions for the creation of a code of conduct for U.N. experts and special rapporteurs. The proposal has been classified by some rights groups as a “straitjacket.”

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