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ACHR Press Release
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ACHR Index: PR/SL/01/06/05
23 June 2005

Kofi Annan undermining Human Rights Council
over the Security Council reforms

New Delhi/New York: Asian Centre for Human Rights in its report, “Human Rights Council: Illusions, Realities and Kofi Annan’s search for legacy” (available at http://www.achrweb.org/reports/UN0105.pdf) submitted to the United Nations General Assembly’s hearings with Non-Governmental Organizations, civil society and the private sector from 23-24 June 2005 at UN Headquarters in New York has accused UN Secretary General Kofi Annan of undermining Human Rights Council for reforms on the Security Council.

“The main target of UN reform is the Security Council which had no reform with regard to the Permanent Members. But Secretary General cannot propose reform for only the Security Council and a weak Human Rights Council has become the trade-off for initiating reforms of the Security Council” – stated Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

“In his report, In Larger Freedom, the Secretary General emphasised that prospective members of the Human Rights Council should “abide by the highest human rights standards” but in the Explanatory Note to the report, he resorted to self-censorship and failed to elaborate the yardsticks to measures “the highest human rights standards” became evident. The proposals on the Human Rights Council fail to address the credibility deficit of the UN Commission on Human Rights” – charged the ACHR Report.

Asian Centre for Human Rights recommended that the proposed UN Human Rights Council must be given the mandate to investigate grave human rights violations on its own, refer situations of grave crises to the Security Council and International Criminal Court or any other international criminal tribunals to enforce its decisions.

While all member states of United Nations should be able to seek membership to the Human Rights Council, those who are elected should pledge to ratify all core human rights conventions, submit periodic reports to the treaty-monitoring bodies, extend a standing invitation to all the Special Procedures and cooperate with UN human rights mechanisms during the first tenure. Those who fail to fulfill the pledge should not be eligible for immediate re-election.  In addition, those countries, which are referred to the International Criminal Court or International Criminal Tribunals by any United Nations body, should not be qualified to seek membership to the Human Rights Council.

Ends/


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