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U.S. Reinstated to UN Human Rights Commission

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    Assalamu alaikum U.S. Reinstated to UN Human Rights Commission http://www.islam-online.net/english/News/2002-04/30/article19.shtml WASHINGTON, April 30
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2002
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      U.S. Reinstated to UN Human Rights Commission


      WASHINGTON, April 30 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) - The United States on
      Monday, April 29, thanked members of the United Nations for reinstating it
      onto the UN Human Rights Commission but took a swipe at the panel's
      members for not addressing "gross" abuses at this year's recently
      concluded session.

      State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the commission would
      benefit from the U.S. presence after it was kicked off last year for
      failing to adequately address issues of human rights violations. The U.S.
      was specifically criticized for its failure to address human rights
      violations aimed against the Palestinians by Israel.

      "When the commission fails to examine human rights situations it sends the
      wrong signal to those who struggle daily for their freedom," Boucher said,
      enumerating U.S.-perceived shortcomings at the last meeting.

      "In this past session, the commission failed to address gross violations
      of human rights in China, Chechnya, Iran and Zimbabwe," he told reporters.

      Despite heavy U.S. lobbying, no country introduced a resolution on China
      at this year's session and attempts to call attention to abuses in
      Chechnya, Iran and Zimbabwe failed.

      Boucher suggested that those resolutions would have stood a better chance
      if Washington had been on the panel.

      "We believe the commission can and should support UN member states that
      work to uphold universal standards of human rights in their own region and
      we believe that experience has shown that the commission works best when
      the United States is a full voting member," he said.

      Boucher did note favorably that the commission had passed a resolution on
      the human rights situation in Cuba.

      Earlier, the United States was elected by acclamation at a meeting of the
      United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the parent body of
      the Geneva-based commission.

      Australia, Germany and Ireland were elected to the three other seats on
      the commission reserved for members of the West European group of nations
      which includes a handful of other western democracies. There were only
      four candidates for the four seats in that group.

      Last year, the United States scored lowest among five candidates for the
      four seats, and was voted off the commission for the first time since the
      commission was established in 1947.

      The embarrassing defeat, coming in the first months of the administration
      of U.S. President George W. Bush, came close to upsetting an agreement for
      payment of more than 900 million dollars in U.S. debts to the world body.

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