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Freedom House Criticizes UN Rights Council --> A session of the human rights council (file photo) (epa) November 22, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The human rights organization Freedom House says the UN Human Rights Council has fallen short of meeting its founding objectives in its first six months of existence.

A report issued today assesses the work of the council to date on a number of key issues, including its inability to address the world's most egregious human rights abuses.

Freedom House also urges the council to recommend strongly that the United States be more engaged.

The report was released prior to the council's third session, which will begin on November 27 in Geneva.

Freedom House Executive Director Jennifer Windsor says the council's track record after the first six months is extremely disappointing.

The UN Human Rights Council was created in March 2006, replacing the UN Commission on Human Rights.

UN Human Rights Council

UN General Assembly delegates applaud the creation of the UN Human Rights Council on March 15, 2006 (epa)

A FRESH START ON HUMAN RIGHTS: The United Nations General Assembly on May 9 elected members to its new Human Rights Council, a step that reformers hope will help improve the United Nations' sullied record on defending human rights. The UN's old human rights watchdog -- the Commission on Human Rights -- had long been criticized for granting membership to countries with dismal human rights records, such as Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe.
Every member of the new body has to pledge to promote human rights. (more)


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