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US expects UN human rights reform this year

[JURIST] The US expects a major overhaul of the discredited Commission on Human Rights [official website] to occur this year, but will insist upon an actual improvement of the current model rather than adherence to artificial deadlines, the State Department's lead negotiator Mark Lagon [official profile] said at a Washington roundtable on UN reform [JURIST news archive; State Department backgrounder] Thursday. The commission has come under fire since President Bush and other world leaders questioned the role of countries with poor records on the commission during the UN's 2005 World Summit [official website], and US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton [official profile] has recently pledged [JURIST report] to renew negotiations as to the final terms of the new body. Lagon also praised the creation of the United Nations Democracy Fund [official website], which will lend financial support to emerging democracies. He has emphasized the United States' desire for the UN to more actively promote democracy around the world [statement] in the past. The Washington Times has more. The State Department's Washfile has additional coverage.

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