Human Rights First Urges Creation of UN Human Rights Council
NEW YORK – Human Rights First urges the adoption of the draft resolution, introduced today by the President of the General Assembly, creating a new United Nations Human Rights Council. While we are disappointed that the resolution does not go further to ensure that countries elected to the Council are committed to protecting and promoting human rights, overall the resolution provides an improved basis for strengthening the UN’s human rights system.
“The time has come for the UN to move beyond the Commission on Human Rights, which has lost credibility” said Gabor Rona, International Legal Director of Human Rights First. Although the creation of the Council, by itself, is not enough to address the UN’s formidable human rights agenda, and the resolution is far from perfect, the new Council is a step in the right direction. Human Rights First urges the General Assembly to act quickly to approve its creation. The proposed Council will meet more frequently than the existing Commission, have a mandate to address human rights in every country, and will have improved, though not ideal, membership selection procedures. It also will maintain the important role of special experts and facilitate the continuing active participation of independent non-governmental organizations.