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UN rights commission ends final session

[JURIST] The UN Commission on Human Rights [official website] ended its 61st and possibly last session Friday in the wake of UN Secretary Kofi Annan's announced plans to radically overhaul the 53-member body. Annan and others in the international community have criticized the commission's failure to take definite action on human rights violations throughout the world. Most recently, activists have criticized the commission's lax treatment of alleged genocide in the Sudan and its failure to investigate prisoner mistreatment in Guantanamo Bay. Member nations [member list], many facing criticism on their own human rights records, have been plagued by controversy and political infighting. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official website], a former international war crimes prosecutor, has herself stated that the commission lacks "legitimacy and credibility," and hopes that changes planned for next year will lead to a more unified group. Member nations of a new UN rights panel will be elected by a two-thirds majority of the UN General Assembly. Reuters has more.

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