UN rights commission suspends session for a week in hopes of council deal

[JURIST] The annual six-week meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights [official website] in Geneva was suspended [press release] after just four minutes on Monday to give the 191 member governments of the UN General Assembly more time to debate and discuss [JURIST report] a replacement body. The 53-member commission, supposed to be meeting for the last time, agreed Friday to table its yearly meeting [UN backgrounder] for one week after UN General Assembly President Jan Eliasson [official profile] postponed [JURIST report] until this week the General Assembly's approval meeting for the new UN Human Rights Council [JURIST news archive]. Eliasson's decision was prompted by disagreements with the US over the make-up of the Council.

The proposed draft resolution [JURIST document; Eliasson briefing video] for the Council discusses having 47 member nations elected through a secret ballot by an absolute majority of the UN General Assembly's 191 members. But the US has called for a smaller body to be elected by a two-thirds majority and has not agreed to approve the current proposal. The General Assembly is expected to meet in New York this week to try and reach a consensus. AFP has more.



 

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