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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:46, February 28, 2006
US to vote against current proposal for new UN council
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The United States would vote against the current compromise proposal for the new UN Human Rights Council, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said Monday.

Bolton told reporters at UN headquarters in New York that the proposal circulated Thursday is not acceptable, saying "we are very disappointed with the draft."

He said his instructions are "to reopen the negotiations and to try and correct in the manifold deficiencies in the text of the resolution or alternatively to push off consideration of the resolution for several months to give us more time."

The U.S. ambassador warned that if the President of the General Assembly intends to bring the matter to the floor of the General Assembly within a day or two for a vote, the United States "will call for a vote and vote no."

Bolton further explained that the United States is disappointed with the proposal because some kind of important and effective change is missed in the new council.

"We remain committed to trying to convince other nations that cosmetic reform alone is not sufficient that we need real change in the way the UN decision making mechanism functions," he stressed.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday called on the United States to support the draft resolution, saying " although not everyone is happy, the new draft is the best we can get after months of intensive negotiations."

He told reporters in Geneva that "if we get into line-by-line negotiations, it will lead to major delays and could cause a problem."

Annan admitted on Thursday after the draft resolution came out that "there are important elements in it that ensure that the Council will be more than a cosmetic change."

But he insisted that "I hope the General Assembly will adopt this draft resolution within the next few days."

The president of the General Assembly unveiled Thursday a new draft blueprint for creating a human rights council with higher status and greater accountability than the much-criticized Human Rights Commission.

The latest text of the draft resolution is the product of many months' efforts to reach consensus among member states. World leaders agreed at a UN summit in September, 2005 to create a new body to replace the 53-member Commission on Human Rights.

However, some developed countries, led by the United States, have insisted that each member of the rights council needs to get the support of a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly. They also wanted a smaller, more nimble body of about 30 and proposed disqualifying any nation under sanctions in the UN Security Council.

It is widely believed that the new Council should be established by mid-March, just before the Human Rights Commission convenes its annual world conference.

Source: Xinhua

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