6 June 08
There was widespread consternation on Friday at the Palais des Nations in Geneva when the US mission gave up his observer status – a step backwards for human rights around the world, says Human Rights Watch.
Carole Vann/Juan Gasparini/Human Rights Tribune – The news that the US has completely withdrawn from the Human Rights Council spread like wildfire Friday afternoon (June 6) through the corridors of the Palais des Nations in Geneva. There was general consternation amongst diplomats and NGOS. Reached by phone, the American mission in Geneva neither confirmed nor denied the report. Although unofficial, the news comes at a time of long opposition by the Bush administration to the reforms which created the Human Rights Council in June 2006. Washington announced from the beginning that the US would not be an active member but its observer status would mean that it could intervene during the sessions. To date even this has rarely happened.
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