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Bolton pledges renewed effort in negotiations on new UN rights panel

[JURIST] US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton [official profile] has promised to push for major changes in the United Nations in an interview published Monday in the Washington Post, including reforms to the international body's human rights panel. Bolton said he will work to abolish the current 53-member Commission on Human Rights [UN backgrounder] and replace it with a new Human Rights Council before the existing commission's next scheduled meeting in March. According to Bolton, the five permanent Security Council [official website] members, Britain, China, France, Russia and the US, will have guaranteed positions in the new body while current members with questionable human rights records, such as Libya, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe, will not. Negotiations over the final terms [NYT report] of the proposed council, including its size, citation procedures, meeting schedule and possible membership limits, will resume January 11. Supporters of the reform argue that it will prevent the worst human rights violators from deflecting or preventing criticism of their records. In addition to working to replace the commission, Bolton has vowed to gather support for anti-terrorism initiatives and to decrease the spread of the world's most dangerous weapons in 2006. AFP has more.

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