A proposal for reforming the top human rights body at the United Nations was deemed a “cause for alarm” by a Geneva-based watchdog group.U.N. Watch said a proposal released Monday by the Human Rights Council breaks several key promises made last year and reneges on assurances that the council’s establishment would mark a significant break from its discredited predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights. The council is preparing to hold a session next week to wrap up a year of reform negotiations. “As a year of reform negotiations now enters its final week, the spoilers of reform, and their campaign to eviscerate the existing mechanisms of human rights protection, are ascendant,” U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer wrote. “We appeal for your urgent intervention to rescue the very credibility and effectiveness of the council.” Among the worrisome developments Neuer cited were the failure to ensure that council members are chosen on the basis of their human rights record, moves to eliminate the special rapporteurs that investigate allegations of rights violations by specific countries and the continued practice of singling out Israel for particular criticism while ignoring the rights violations committed by the Palestinians.
U.N. proposal deemed ’cause for alarm