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Home > News > Report

Annan's reform plan has few takers

Ehtasham Khan in Geneva | April 12, 2005 21:27 IST

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's proposal that the United Nation's Commission on Human Rights be abolished and replaced by a smaller Human Rights Council to ensure better credibility found few takers within the UN.

At the ongoing 61st session of the CHR in Geneva, the Expanded Bureau on Tuesday called an informal meeting of all the 53 member-states of the commission to discuss the UN reforms process as suggested by Annan.

The meeting was chaired by chairman of the ongoing session Makarim Wibisono in the presence of High Commissioner of the CHR Louise Arbour.

While addressing a plenary meeting at the ongoing session last week here, Annan said that the 'declining credibility of CHR has cast a shadow on the reputation of the UN system as a whole, and any piecemeal reform would not be enough'.

Advocating the replacement of the commission by a smaller council, Annan had proposed that the new council would have select countries as members having a good record in human rights.

These members, he said, would be elected by two-third majority of the General Assembly. He had criticised the increasing politicisation and ineffectiveness of the commission.

Therefore, the commission decided to hold a discussion on this issue on Tuesday.

Only few countries like the United States, Japan, Switzerland and Israel supported Annan's view of abolishing the commission.

Russia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Iran were among the majority view of continuing with the current commission but insisted on reforms within the existing mechanism.

The Russian representative questioned if the smaller group of the Council will reflect the universal concern of human rights. He called the election process to the council as dubious.

Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri wondered if the new council would 'face the real problems and give solutions in a better way than the existing Commission'.

He said the election to the council would 'encourage horse-trading as only select few countries would be eligible for the election. It is an attempt to create membership through backdoor'.

Also read:
Annan wants UNCHR abolished
India, Pakistan cross swords at UN

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