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UN rights commission last meeting delayed again pending ECOSOC resolution

[JURIST] The last annual meeting [UN backgrounder] of the UN Commission on Human Rights [official website] in Geneva was delayed [press release] again Monday as the body waits for a procedural vote by the UN Economic and Social Council [official website] in order to proceed. The Commission met for only a few minutes when the chairman announced that the ECOSOC vote on substantive elements of the Commission's work, expected to be taken this week, is necessary for the body to continue its work. Listen to recorded audio [in French] of the Commission's press conference in Geneva. When the Commission does reconvene, it is only expected to meet for approximately one week instead of the usual six-week period. The Commission was initially scheduled to begin its current session on March 13, but delayed its session [JURIST report] in order to allow the UN General Assembly [official website] more time to debate a replacement human rights body.

The 191-member General Assembly approved [JURIST report] a resolution [JURIST document] last week that will replace the much-criticized Commission with a new Human Rights Council [JURIST news archive]. Rather than having 53 members as the current Commission does, the new body will be comprised of 47 member countries which will be elected through secret ballot by an absolute majority of the General Assembly. The new council will meet every 10 weeks, which is more often than the current Commission. AFP has more. The UN News Centre provides additional coverage.

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