US Votes Against Establishment of Human Rights Council
Mar-15-06 11:39 pm
As noted in previous posts, the United States has been greatly troubled by the legitimacy of the current United Nations Human Rights Commission and has supported the creation of a new Human Rights Council. But today, the United States voted against the proposal in the General Assembly. As the New York Times reports:
With the United States in virtually lone opposition, the United Nations overwhelmingly approved a new Human Rights Council today to replace the widely discredited Human Rights Commission.The main problem with the final proposal was that it contained a provision that makes it too easy-- from the U.S. perspective-- for states to be elected to the Council. The concern is that states that are themselves serious human rights abusers will be elected. The U.S. had supported the proposal presented by Secretary-General Kofi Annan that would have required a two-thirds vote of those voting to elect members to the Council. But the version approved today requires a majority vote of all U.N. members for a state to be elected to the Council. As the Times explains:
[T]he final text had a weakened version of the crucial membership restriction in Mr. Annan's original plan that required new members to be elected by two-thirds of those voting. Instead, council members will be elected by an absolute majority of member states.
But despite U.S. opposition, the new Council has been being established. Only time will tell if it can gain more legitimacy than its predecessor.
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