UN Unveils New Human Rights Council
Wednesday, March 1, 2006 10:35 AM

After months of lobbying by human rights advocacy groups and negotiation between United Nations member countries, the UN has unveiled its proposal for the creation of a new, more effective Human Rights Council.  The current Human Rights Commisson, which has been widely criticized for giving seats to countries with dismal human rights records, such as Sudan and Zimbabwe, would be replaced with a Human Rights Council, consisting of 47 members elected by a majority of UN members. The Council would meet at least three times a year and its members would undergo a systematic review of their human rights records. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the plan, seen as a key component of UN reform, was the best option for a new human rights body and expressed hope that the proposal would be approved by the General Assembly.  Several human rights groups have sent a letter in support of the new Council to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. 

Compiled from: New UN Rights Council Put Forward, Susanna Price, BBC, 23 February 2006; Support Grows for New UN Human Rights Council, Edith M. Lederer, Washington Post, 24 February 2006.