Friday, April 8, 2005

Annan calls for human rights agency revamp!

United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan has called for radical changes to be made to the UN's human rights work.

Mr Annan has made the comment at the annual session of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

The commission has been harshly criticised recently by human rights groups claiming it has become less of a body for upholding human rights, and more of a haven for violators.

Mr Annan says the situation is damaging the entire United Nations.

"We have reached a point at which the commission's decline in credibility has cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole, and where piecemeal reforms will not be enough, or will not do," he said.

Mr Annan says the 53-member body is failing to protect people against human rights abuses and should be replaced by a smaller council with greater authority.

"The new Human Rights Council must be a society of the committed, it must be more accountable and more representative," he said.

Mr Annan says any new body must have a real impact on people's lives.

"The course of human rights has entered a new era," he said.

"For much of the past 60 years, our focus has been on articulating, codifying and enshrining rights.

"Such work needs to continue in some areas.

"But the era of declaration has now given way - as it should - to an era of implementation."

By Just Us 8 April 05


UN panel proposes criteria for legitimate military action
With countries still bitterly divided over the war in Iraq, a high-level panel appointed by the United Nations has recommended a five-step guideline to determine when to use military action.

It seems the United States of America (The World Watchdog) is dictating and practising double-standards --- a unique law for America and another set of laws for all other countries.

Two years after the invasion of Iraq, there is more opposition to the war in the US, in the coalition countries, and all over the world than ever before.

Annan tells world leaders to respect law
United Nations (UN) secretary-general Kofi Annan has made an impassioned plea to bring about the rule of law across the globe today. Mr Annan told world leaders to respect international law at home and abroad.

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Iraq war illegal, says Annan
United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan says the United States decision to invade Iraq in March 2003 was "illegal". Australia was a key supporter of the war on Iraq and sent troops to join the United States-led invasion last year.

Bush team 'knew of abuse' at Guantanamo
Evidence of prisoner abuse and possible war crimes at Guantanamo Bay reached the highest levels of the Bush administration as early as autumn 2002, but Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, chose to do nothing about it, according to a new investigation.

Noble Cause Torture?
AUSTRALIA: The Labor Party has decided not to support a Senate inquiry into new allegations made by Mamdouh Habib that the Australian Government cooperated with Egyptian intelligence authorities who he insists tortured him.

Unlock the Box:
The United Front to Abolish the SHU is dedicated to shutting down Security Housing Units (SHUs) in California prisons. The SHU is one type of control unit, which are solitary or small group confinement cells. The inhuman conditions in control units, including total sensory deprivation, amount to torture. The United Front to Abolish the SHU demands that all control units be abolished across the country.

Deaths in isolation as prison segregation increases
The use of segregation of prisoners as punishment has been increasing recently in Australia, the US, and the UK. Segregation can be used for protection or punishment, but in both cases it results in extreme psychological stress. An indication that segregation is being over-used is the appearance of deaths in custody from suicide of those placed in segregation.

Pentagon chiefs cleared over prisoner abuse?
US: The Pentagon has cleared itself of any high-level responsibility for the abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay because it was the guard dogs that initiated the torture all along.

CIA defends terror suspect transfers?
Suspected terrorists [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killings's resource wars in the Middle East] in US custody have been transferred to third countries for the past 20 years, CIA director Porter Goss told the US Senate armed services committee.

Trade Justice Events Sydney 10 -16 April 2005
NO to the rich and powerful imposing unjust trade agreements, indiscriminate liberalisation and privatisation on the poor. YES to everyone's right to food, a livelihood, water, health and education.