Annan urges developing nations to fulfill rights obligations

[JURIST] While noting that "many of our nations are making progress on human rights," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile; JURIST news archive] urged nations belonging to the Non-Aligned Movement [NAM backgrounder, DOC; Wikipedia backgrounder] Friday to "fulfill their obligations to their people at home" by ending the suppression of opposition groups, guaranteeing a free press and fighting corruption. Speaking at the NAM summit [conference website] in Cuba [JURIST news archive], Annan said [text]:

The sheer size of this Movement does not equal success. A larger voice brings with it greater responsibility, both internationally and at home. ...

A responsibility to implement the principle all Governments have signed on to - that States, both individually and collectively, have a duty to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

That includes a duty to protect populations from carnage by allowing the international community to make a positive contribution for change.
Annan also emphasized a duty "to work for real progress" in the Middle East [JURIST news archive] and lamented the "disturbing gulf in income" between the world's richest and poorest countries. The secretary-general also advocated expansion of the UN Security Council [official website] - an idea favored by NAM - to dispel the "perception of a narrow power-base hanging on five countries."

NAM comprises 118 developing nations [list] that traditionally did not align themselves with world powers. Many NAM members, such as North Korea and Sudan [JURIST news archives], have faced criticism for their human rights records. AFP has more.


 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.