[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] pressed member nations to work with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday, telling UNHRC members at the opening of the council's first 2007 session that it is crucial that they in turn work with all nations in cooperation toward ending human rights abuses. In an address to the UNHRC in Geneva, Ban said the council should serve as a "forum and a springboard for action."
The Human Rights Council was criticized for its limited successes in Israel and Sudan last year, when both countries refused to accept UNHRC investigative teams. In February, a UNHRC probe to the Darfur region was canceled [JURIST report] when Sudan refused to grant a visa to one of the members of the investigation team. In September 2006, the US expressed disappointment [JURIST report] with the work of the UNHRC for failing to adequately address violations in Darfur, North Korea, and China and has since refused for a second year [JURIST report] to run for election to the body, created last year to replace the largely-discredited UN Human Rights Commission. AP has more.