U.N. Human Rights Council Takes Two Steps Back
New York, NY, June 30, 2006 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed outrage at the new United Nations Human Rights Council's decision to establish as a permanent agenda item at every session a review of Israel's alleged human rights violations, saying it represented "two steps back."
"Unfortunately it appears that the U.N. Human Rights Council is no improvement over its predecessor," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Rather than taking a step forward and establishing a more efficient and effective human rights body that would respond to and monitor serious situations around the world, the Council is taking two steps back to restore the old institutionalized myopic focus on Israel."
The Human Rights Council is a new body created as part of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's proposed U.N. reform and replaces the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. The Commission on Human Rights met once a year, and each session included a special agenda item – item 8 – on "The Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine." All other country-specific discussions were grouped together under one agenda item. The new Human Rights Council is set to meet three times a year.
"We appreciate the countries that voted against this resolution, including Canada, Switzerland, Japan and the EU members of the Council," said Mr. Foxman.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.