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UN Human Rights Council "huge disappointment," says Human Rights Watch

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

DPA POLITICS UN Politics HumanRights UN Human Rights Council "huge disappointment," says NGO Geneva The UN's new Human Rights Council was labelled a "huge disappointment" by human rights defenders Friday as it closed its second regular session.

New York-based NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that in the three weeks the Council had sat it had failed to take any "effective

action" over some of the worst human rights crises in the world, including in Darfur, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan.

"Unfortunately human rights victims cannot wait. It is not right that we have now had the second full session and the results are so minimal," said HRW spokesperson Peggy Hicks.

"It needs to change course and change course quickly," she added.

Hicks criticized states whose sole purpose, she said, appeared to be "to make sure human rights violations stay undercover," singling

out the alliance of members known as the Organization of the Islamic Conference as failing to play "a constructive role."

She also called on the other Council members to take on those intent on blocking the Council. "It is time for the true supporters of human rights to find their voice," Hicks said.

Diplomatic sources also expressed disappointment in the work of the fledgling UN body, pointing to a lack of balance in the discussions and debate.

EU diplomatic sources however said they remained "optimistic" that the new Council would prove an effective tool.

However the 47-strong Council ended Friday's session postponing agreement on the majority of resolutions before it meets again on November 27.

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