Posts Tagged ‘Geneva International Cooperation’

The UN Human Rights Council compares well to its predecessor the Commission, say Geneva academic

March 14, 2013

In a lengthy interview with ‘Geneva International Cooperation’ published on 13 March 2013, Andrew Clapham, the widely respected Director of the Geneva Academy of International Law and Human Rights, argues that the Human Rights Council of the UN, which replaced the Commission on Human Rights (of which, in 2005, Kofi Annan said that its “declining credibility has cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole”) has in the end made important improvements. The interview is certainly worth reading in its totality but for the hard-pressed here are some quotes:

Q: Do you think the Human Rights Council has been effective in restoring the damage caused by its predecessor to the reputation of the UN?  Yes. The credibility of the Human Rights Council is now much higher than that of the Commission on Human Rights in 2005. One of the major criticisms of the former Commission was the ability for states to use political pressure to focus attention on individual states. Under the four year Universal Periodic Review (UPR) cycle, it is possible to read reports about the United States, China, Russia, Haiti, Iraq and Libya, and not just the states that are out of favour at any given time. One of the crucial differences is the fact that the Human Rights Council now considers the situations in powerful states. The ability of the Human Rights Council to establish Commissions of Inquiry is another important and unexpected development. These Commissions are now highly regarded references and sources of information.

Q: Can you give some examples of concrete achievements that have resulted from the creation of the Human Rights Council? Read the rest of this entry »