A New United Nations Human Rights Council

Article excerpt

THE three pillars on which the United Nations (UN) was formed more than six decades ago were security, development, and human rights. Recently, the 191 member states of the United Nations recommitted themselves to these ideals, particularly the protection and promotion of human rights, as they formally constituted the United Nations Human Rights Council, the new body that would take over from the defunct Human Rights Commission in promoting human rights.

The 47 members of the UN Human Rights Council represent the five geographical cluster of states of the UN, namely, the African States, the Asian States, the Eastern European States, the Latin American and Caribbean States, and the Western European and other States. The countries elected would sit in the Council for a period from one to three years and the Philippines has been included as a member with a term of one year. The Council will hold its first meeting on June 19, 2006.

The Council will conduct a regular review of the human rights records of all countries, beginning with those serving on it. United Nations Secretary General Kofi A. …