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Annan tells controversial UN rights commission its days are numbered

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the much-criticized UN Commission on Human Rights [official website] Thursday that its declining credibility had "cast a shadow" over the whole United Nations and that the institution needed to frame a new permanent human rights body to prevent and more effectively address worldwide abuses and suffering. Established 60 years ago, the current Commission is the UN's main monitoring device for international human rights observance. Annan has proposed a replacement human rights council whose members would be directly elected by the UN General Assembly by a two-thirds majority and who would be subject to specific human rights criteria designed to avoid situations where current Commission members such as Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Zimbabwe are themselves accused of widespread human rights abuses. The new council would also have the ability to meet any time to address human rights violations instead of only addressesing issues during an annual six-week session. The proposed human rights reforms are part of Annan'a larger UN reform package. Read Annan's speech [text]. AP has more.

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