France hails new UN human rights council

16th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 15, 2006 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy on Wednesday hailed the creation of a new United Nations Human Rights Council which he said would add "legitimacy and credibility" to the world body.

PARIS, March 15, 2006 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy on Wednesday hailed the creation of a new United Nations Human Rights Council which he said would add "legitimacy and credibility" to the world body.

The new council would "reinforce the legitimacy and credibility of the United Nations in the international protection and defence of human rights," the minister said in a statement which called the new body a "significant and ambitious reform".

"France hails the rallying of all those who supported and accompanied this measure over the past months. It is a significant new step in the reform of the United Nations so it can fully carry out its responsibilities," he said.

The UN General Assembly approved by a large majority the creation of the new Human Rights Council to replace the existing Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

The vote had been delayed for several weeks to try to bring on board the United States, which opposed the new council because of doubts about its effectiveness.

The United States, Israel, Palau and the Marshall Islands were the only countries to vote against setting up the council, with 170 countries voting in favour and Iran, Venezuela and Belarus abstaining.

The new body is designed to be more effective, replacing the current commission which has been tarnished by the presence among its 53 members of notorious human rights abusers such as China, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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