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Discordant UN Voices on Rights


Discordant UN Voices on Rights

The UN Human Rights Council was supposed to make the world forget about the disparaged Human Rights Commission. That panel had stained the UN’s reputation through “declining credibility and professionalism,” in the words of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. But in the council’s first year, in some ways it appears to have taken up where the old commission left off. Intended to carry on as the international community’s main forum for addressing rights abuses, the council has singled out Israel’s actions in the Palestinian territories for extraordinary scrutiny, ignored widespread abuses reported in Zimbabwe, Burma, and North Korea, and discontinued the use of special monitors in Belarus and Cuba. The council kept the mandates of many other special monitors but they will now be subject to a new “code of conduct” that could compromise their ability to work effectively, says Human Rights Watch. By Robert McMahon.


Human rights Policy Resource.