US expects UN human rights reform this year Krista-Ann Staley at 12:02 PM ET
[JURIST] The US expects a major overhaul of the discredited UNCommission on Human Rights [official website] to occur this year, but will insist upon an actual improvement of the current model rather than adherence to artificial deadlines, the State Department's lead negotiator Mark Lagon [official profile] said at a Washington roundtable on UN reform [JURIST news archive; State Department backgrounder] Thursday. The commission has come under fire since President Bush and other world leaders questioned the role of countries with poor human rights records on the commission during the UN's 2005 World Summit [official website], and US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton [official profile] has recently pledged [JURIST report] to renew negotiations as to the final terms of the new body. Lagon also praised the creation of the United Nations Democracy Fund [official website], which will lend financial support to emerging democracies. He has emphasized the United States' desire for the UN to more actively promote democracy around the world [statement] in the past. The Washington Times has more. The State Department's Washfile has additional coverage.
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