On the heels of a well-received report on Darfur by the newly revamped UN Human Rights Council, the body is in danger of having its power stripped away. The EU says, give the council more time.Cuba is leading a bid by a number of countries to strip the Human Rights Council of its power to investigate and condemn violations of human rights, a move some activists warn could jeopardize the entire UN’s credibility, the news agency Reuters reported.
The 47 member states of the new UN watchdog, which was set up last year to replace its discredited predecessor, are quietly negotiating a package of measures which will define its role.
At stake is the fate of “special procedures” — independent investigators appointed to report on countries where abuses are suspected. The former Secretary General Kofi Annan described these rapporteurs as the “crown jewels” of the UN human rights machinery.
“Our fear is that some governments are trying to sell the crown jewels, trying to undermine the independence of special procedures,” Irene Khan, secretary general of Amnesty International, told reporters in Geneva.
“There are huge stakes here for human rights, not only for survivors of abuses but the credibility of the council and the larger credibility of the United Nations,” she said.
Its 13 special rapporteurs on countries, retained for now from the former UN Commission on Human Rights, include experts probing suspected abuses in Belarus, Cuba, Sudan and North Korea.
One such investigator, Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams, issued a much-anticipated report on Darfur March 12 which blamed Sudan for orchestrating war crimes across Darfur.
Still, some countries singled out for this attention, and their allies such as China, say such finger-pointing is selective and politically motivated. They want to abolish the investigators.
Cuba — which has never allowed a visit by the special rapporteur on Cuba, Christine Chanet —is leading the charge to dismantle country investigators.
This is marvellous isn’t it? AS I do not like the things these bad people are telling me, because I am very democratic…. the solution is not to change, as I really do not have to change. No, the solution is ¡¡¡to get rid of this people!!! No, I am not going to kill them -hmm, although I have reasons enough, they are liars…!!-, but I am going to forbid them to critic me. I am going to get rid of these busy bodies…
And Zapatero & Co. so favorable as they are to UN, what are they going to say?
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