Sudan Re-Elected To UN Rights Commission
DESPITE US OBJECTION, SUDAN RE-ELECTED TO UN RIGHTS COMMISSION
New York, May 4 2004 6:00PM
With the official report on the often-condemned human rights situation in western Sudan still pending, the Khartoum Government was among the 14 elected today by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to fill vacancies on the Commission on Human Rights, the UN's highest forum for examining civil rights around the world.
After the African Group submitted Sudan - already in the second year of a two-year term that expires in December - as one of its four candidates for the 53-member Commission for 2005-2006, the representative of the United States traded harsh words with the Sudanese representative and the US delegation excused itself and walked out.
US representative Sichan Siv said he was perplexed and dismayed that the African Group had submitted, for the third time, the candidacy of a country that massacred its own citizens in the western Darfur region, and where the humanitarian crisis had reached a tragic scale.
He urged the African Group to consider the effect of that situation on the Commission's reputation and ability to function effectively as the world's protector of human rights and freedoms.
Sudanese representative Omar Bashir Mohamed Manis said his Government had acknowledged fully the humanitarian problem in Darfur and had asked the international community for help.
He said it was ironic that the United States delegation, while shedding crocodile tears over the situation in Darfur, was turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by US forces using the most lethal weapons known to man against the civilian population in Iraq.
Sudan, along with Guinea, Kenya and Togo, went on to win its seat by acclamation.
Of the four candidates nominated by the Asian group to fill three vacancies, Malaysia, Pakistan and the Republic of Korea were elected while Viet Nam was not. Eastern Europe elected Armenia and Romania by acclamation, while Latin American countries elected Ecuador and Mexico unopposed. The Western European and Others Group elected Canada, Finland and France, while Spain lost.
ECOSOC, to which the Commission on Human Rights reports, was also holding elections to such panels as the Commission on Population and Development, the Commission for Social Development and the Commission on Sustainable Development.