UN REVIEW OF FIRST GROUP OF COUNTRIES’ HUMAN
RIGHTS RECORDS WRAPS UP
New York, April 18, 2008
The United Nations <"http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/">Human
Rights Council has concluded its review of the first batch of countries as part
of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) – a new mechanism to examine the record
of every UN Member State.
The mechanism’s Working
Group wrapped up its first session in Geneva today after evaluating the rights
records of 16 nations: Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Finland,
the United Kingdom, India, Brazil, the Philippines, Algeria, Poland, the
Netherlands, South Africa, the Czech Republic and Argentina.
“Having witnessed the energy
which you have all displayed during this session, I have no doubt that we shall
collectively rise to the occasion and achieve the primary goal of the UPR, which
is the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground,” said Council
President Doru Romulus Copstea in a message delivered at the meeting’s close by
Vice President Boudewijn Van Eenennaam.
The Working Group’s next
session will be held from 5 to 19 May, during which 16 more Member States’
records will be reviewed.
The UPR is one of the
reforms which differentiate the Council from the Commission on Human Rights,
which it succeeded in 2006.
Under the Review’s work
plans, 48 countries are scheduled to be reviewed each year, so that the UN’s
complete membership of 192 countries will be reviewed once every four years.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Council to ensure that all countries
were scrutinized equally. “The Review must reaffirm that just as human rights
are universal, so is our collective respect for them and our commitment to
them,” he said. <"http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/sgspeeches/search_full.asp?statID=196">said.
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