World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Annan confident US will work with Human Rights Co.

Annan confident US, despite objections, will work with Human Rights Council

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today expressed confidence that the United States will be able to work with the new United Nations Human Rights Council despite its opposition to a draft framework for the body that he has called an essential element in reforming the world organization.

“My understanding is that the US, even though they may not be able to vote for the Council as it is now currently proposed, it will be able to work with the Council,” Mr. Annan told reporters in South Africa just hours before the General Assembly was to vote on setting up the body to replace the much-criticized UN Commission on Human Rights.

“I think in a normal democratic process, if you can get unanimity, well and good,” he said in Johannesburg after meeting with former South African President Nelson Mandela during a two-week visit to Africa. “But if you can’t, and an overwhelming majority of the members go for something, I think it should work…

“And I am sure the US, which has done so much for human rights, will find a way to work with the other Member States to make the council what it ought to be.”

The United States feels that as proposed the Council does not go far enough and has called for renegotiation, a move that Mr. Annan has said “chagrined” him, warning that the new body could “unravel” in renegotiations.

As proposed, the Council would have a higher status and greater accountability than the Commission that meets yearly in Geneva. It would be a subsidiary body of the General Assembly, meet year round as opposed to the six-week annual session of the Commission, and its members would be elected by a majority of all 191 UN Members.

In presenting his proposed reforms a year ago, Mr. Annan wanted election to be by a two-thirds majority, and failure to achieve this has been cited by the US as one of the main elements in its opposition.

But while conceding his inability to reach this goal, he has repeatedly stressed that the Council as proposed by General Assembly President Jan Eliasson after months-long consultations with Member States could be a basis for more effective human rights protection.

“The President of the General Assembly has done a great work, working with all the member states to come up with a document that gives a credible basis to move forward,” he said today.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news