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Cablegate: Argentina: Ngo Participation in Unhrc Review Mixed

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0249 0590928
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280928Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0349
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0699
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0198

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000249

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DRL/MLGA FOR SYLVIA HAMMOND AND LAURA JORDAN
IO/RHS FOR AMY OSTERMEIER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINA: NGO PARTICIPATION IN UNHRC REVIEW MIXED

REF: A. SECSTATE 15507

B. 07 GENEVA 2541
C. GENEVA 96
D. GENEVA 107

1. (SBU) Per Ref A instructions, poloff contacted two leading
human rights organizations (HROs) in Argentina, Poder
Ciudadano, (Citizen Power) and the Center for Legal and
Social Studies (CELS), to see if they participated in the UN
Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review for
Argentina. Poder Ciudadano indicated that they did not know
about the Universal Periodic Review, and would have
participated in the review had they known about it. CELS
stated that they participated in the review, and had even met
with the MFA to discuss the process. Nevertheless, they
outlined a number of concerns about the process:

-- the deadline was too tight to allow for a proper and
coordinated response from the NGO community;

-- the Council only allowed NGOs to provide a 5-page report
outlining a country's human rights problems; and

-- the process calls for the NGO community to submit their
report before the state under review, and does not seem to
allow the NGO community to respond to the state's submission.

2. (SBU) To address these issues, CELS claimed that it
asked the UNHRC for an extension of the deadline for NGO
submissions, but the request was denied. In order to avoid
redundancy and maximize the breadth of human rights
challenges Argentina faces, CELS organized a roundtable with
other HROs to ensure that each HRO tackled a different human
rights problem. (Comment: Apparently, CELS did not invite
Poder Ciudadano to this roundtable. This is unusual because
both organizations have a tradition of strong collaboration,
and their offices are housed in the same building. End
Comment.) Finally, CELS indicated that it would submit a
brief letter to the UNHRC in response to the GOA's submission
which it hopes the UNHRC will take into consideration in
drafting its evaluation.
KELLY

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