Despite strong US opposition, Libya elected as chairman of the U.N. Human Rights Commission
Libya is hailing as a "shining victory" its election as chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, against strong opposition from the United States. Thus, Libya will preside at the March 17-April 25 session of the U.N. Human Rights Commission which meets annually to survey the rights situation around the world.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassuna al-Shawsh said Monday Libya's election by a clear majority, after a vote demanded by the US, showed "historic world recognition that Libya has a clean sheet with regard to human rights."
"It is a shining victory which gives back their rights to the oppressed peoples," he stated.
Libyan ambassador Najat Al-Hajjaji was supported in a secret ballot by 33 members of the 53-nation UN Human Rights Commission, while three countries voted against and 17 abstained.
Shawsh thanked "friendly countries which supported right and rejected pressures, above all Arab, Islamic and European countries, and particularly France, Italy and Britain."
For the first time since the Commission was founded in 1947, the decision went to a vote after Washington said it could not "reward Libya's terrible conduct" and demanded a ballot.
South Africa's envoy Sipho George Nene said the United States move had violated a practice which had helped maintain cooperation on the commission and expressed the hope it would be the last time a proposed chairman was challenged.
"The right of regional groups to present candidates of their choice must be respected," he declared, according to Reuters. (Albawaba.com)
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