Skip to comments.Libya Elected to Chair U.N. Human Rights Body
Posted on 01/20/2003 4:28:36 AM PST by sf4dubya
Libya Elected to Chair U.N. Human Rights Body 17 minutes ago
By Richard Waddington
GENEVA (Reuters) - Libya, under fire for years from human rights activists, was overwhelmingly elected Monday to chair the top United Nations (news - web sites)' rights body after the United States broke with tradition and forced a vote.
The North African country ruled by President Muammar Gaddafi (news - web sites) will preside at the March 17-April 25 session of the U.N. Human Rights Commission which meets annually to survey the rights situation around the world.
For the first time since the Commission was founded in 1947, the decision went to a vote after Washington said it could not "reward Libya's terrible conduct" and demanded a ballot.
Libya, which is still not fully free of U.N. sanctions imposed for its alleged role in the Lockerbie airliner bombing (news - web sites), had been nominated by African countries whose turn it was by U.N. tradition to make the choice.
The Libyan candidate, diplomat and former journalist Mrs. Najat al-Hajjaji, won 33 votes in a secret ballot of the 53-country Commission, with 17 states abstaining and three voting no -- apparently including the United States.
No country-by-country breakdown was immediately available, but the abstentions were believed to include European countries and some from Latin America.
The U.S. decision to force a vote was denounced as "a political challenge" by South Africa, which proposed al-Hajjaji on behalf of all African countries on the commission.
South Africa's envoy Sipho George Nene said the United States move had violated a practice which had helped maintain cooperation on the commission and expressed the hope it would be the last time a proposed chairman was challenged.
"The right of regional groups to present candidates of their choice must be respected," he declared.
Nene later declined to challenge on behalf of the Commission's African group the nomination by Canada for the Western group of Australian envoy Mike Smith as one of the three vice-chairs to al-Hajjaj.
Her other two deputies -- also elected unopposed -- were envoys from Sri Lanka and Peru, representing the Asian and Latin American groups.
In a speech after her election, the Libyan diplomat -- who had been a vice-chair herself in 2001 -- said she and her colleagues "will do everything in her power to carry out the tasks entrusted to us." She said she as chariwoman she would avoid taking decisions on a personal basis "as far as possible" and would rely on the Commission's "collective wisdom."
She would be guided, she said, by the words of an early Islamic leader who told his followers that he had been chosen as their guide "but I am not the best among you....if I make mistakes, please help me to correct them."
attacked. Iraq, we're getting
ready to attack.
I'd rather we put
one smart bomb into every
building all over
the world. Let's turn those
places into parks...
Wasn't Sudan picked to head the Human Rights Council in 2000...the same year the UN summarily kicked the United States, which STARTED the Human Rights Council, OFF of it?
Libya, which is still not fully free of U.N. sanctions imposed for its alleged role in the Lockerbie airliner bombing
Generally, a news organization will drop the allegedly after there is a conviction (which there was) and the perpetrator even agrees to compensate the victims families (which Libya has.)
Of course, if the news organization has an anti-American agenda, they might just keep the allegedly hanging around in case their readers are typically a little short on the facts.
The truth is Saddam's got 'em, but the truth also is that Saddam is move clever than both Bushes, and any other American politician.
The truth sounds pessimestic, but I'm saying it...we're doomed.
The new rulers of South Africa, with their long-standing Communist connections, would feel a great deal of affinity for Qadafi.
No one should should be surprised that Africa, and the UN, are wastelands.
GW is too modest to do this. However, someone like Condi Rice or Powell might just write this book. I think that he is doing the same thing to the Euro Trash's NATO.
I'm beginning to think the whole world is incompetent.
50% of the U.N. members are totally insane. The other 50% are clinically certifiable.
I want another planet to colonize. This one has an incurable anti-think virus.
Propping up dictators is all the UN is good for anymore.