Comments on the last day (Friday) of the 6th Session of the Human Rights Council by David G. Littman, NGO Representative of Association for World Education (AWE) and World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) to the UN Office in Geneva.
At the last meeting of the sixth session of the Human Rights Council, Egypt — on behalf of the African Union — sponsored a watered down resolution which, although it reluctantly renewed for another year the country-specific Special Rapporteur on the Sudan, ended the High-level Mission of Experts on Darfur. Their comprehensive team Report of 100 pages was contested implicitly by Egypt the day before (again speaking for the AU), when it asked for a stop to the proliferation of human rights mechanisms on Sudan — as they were a burden on the State. Not surprisingly, the African group even wished to end the Special Rapporteur’s mandate, but a “˜compromise” was negotiated in order to obtain a face-saving “˜consensus” (i.e. “˜no vote”) by the Council of 47 States Members, thereby back-staging the Darfur genocide once again.
On December 31, the joint UN-African Union peace-keeping force of 26,000 men is due to arrive in Darfur under Security Council resolution 1769 — to take over from the ineffective 7,000-strong AU force. In a revealing IHT article (Dec. 10), “Hobbling the UN in Darfur” — read by many at the UN — Prof. Eric Reeves predicted cataclysmic destruction in Darfur if the UN does not rally the resources and exert the pressure on Khartoum. Time is running out.
In a joint statement for 5 NGOs the next day, we reiterated a prediction, signed by 43 NGOs in a May 23, 2006 letter to the High Commissioner on Darfur: “We believe that the role of the new Human Rights Council will be, in part, tested by the way the Darfur conflict is faced.”
One need not be either the prophet Daniel or a Hamlet to read the “˜writing on the wall” at the Palais de Nations in Geneva: Something is rotten in the state of”¦ the Human Rights Council.