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
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.
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
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.