Posts Tagged ‘Security Council’

US pushes for ‘historic’ human rights debate at Security Council but achieves little

April 20, 2017

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, with Liu Jieyi, China’s ambassador, before the April 18 Security Council meeting. Rick Bajornas/UN Photo

The United States led on Tuesday 18 April what it (and not many others) dubbed a ‘historicU.N. Security Council meeting on the link between rights abuses and conflict, but it had to drop a push for the broad issue of human rights to become a fixed item of the Security Council’s agenda when it appeared that at least six members would oppose it [Russia, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Bolivia were against the move and Senegal’s support was uncertain]. The United States, council president for April, did not risk the measure being put to a rare procedural vote, which requires nine in favour, and vetoes cannot be used. The opposing council members say rights discussion should be confined to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council – which Washington accuses of being anti-Israel and has threatened to quit – and the 193-member U.N. General Assembly third committee. Here is some of the analysis:

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The fight against impunity for international crimes in Africa: No ‘Free Pass’ for leaders say Human Rights Defenders

November 18, 2013

Today, 18 November, a group of 14 Africa-based NGOs came out with a strong statement supporting the ICC which has its annual meeting coming up 20-28 November in the Hague: “African governments should reject special exemptions for sitting officials before the International Criminal Court (ICC)“, African organizations and international organizations with a presence in Africa said in a document released today. The ICC faces important challenges in Africa. In October the African Union said that the trials of Kenya’s president and vice president, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, should be suspended

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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 »