< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: New U.N. Rights Group Includes Six Nations With Poor Records

Sunday, May 14, 2006

New U.N. Rights Group Includes Six Nations With Poor Records

From the New York Times:

Six nations with poor human rights records were among those elected to the new Human Rights Council on Tuesday, although notorious violators that had belonged to the predecessor Human Rights Commission did not succeed in winning places in the new group.
China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, countries cited by human rights groups as not deserving membership, were among the 47 nations elected to the council. But in a move hailed by the same groups, both Iran and Venezuela failed to attract the needed votes.
Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, said: "The good news is that we did better than expected in the voting because Iran and Venezuela both lost. Venezuela's losing shows that bluster and anti-Americanism isn't enough to get elected."
Nations running for the council had to meet more demanding standards than in the past.
The previous commission was long a public embarrassment to the United Nations because countries like Sudan, Libya and Zimbabwe became members and thereby thwarted the investigation of their own human rights records.
The United States did not run for a seat on the council, saying that the new body did not go far enough to correct the deficiencies of the old one. The council was created on March 15, in a 170 to 4 vote, that the United States, Israel, Palau and the Marshall Islands opposed.

Click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes


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