New term of UN rights chief cut due to US block

Human rights chief Navi Pillay was given an abbreviated term as part of a compromise deal with the United States, which was annoyed with her criticism of Israel, envoys said.

New term of UN rights chief cut due to US block

World Bulletin / News Desk

The U.N. General Assembly on Thursday renewed the mandate of the world body's human rights chief Navi Pillay, but she was given an abbreviated term as part of a compromise deal with the United States, which was annoyed with her criticism of Israel, envoys said.

Syria also made clear it was not a fan of Pillay, a South African jurist whom the Syrian delegation described as "hostile" towards Damascus.

Despite Washington's attempt to block a renewal of Pillay's mandate, a deal was reached after South Africa and others persuaded U.S. officials to back a two-year term for Pillay, instead of the normal four years, U.N. diplomats told Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity.

"It was a compromise that was brokered," a diplomat said. "Washington can live with her for two more years, but they really don't like her positions on Israel and the Palestinian issues."

In August 2009, Pillay, who is based in Geneva, said Israel violated the rules of war with its siege of the Gaza Strip.

A month later, a U.N. Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission on the December 2008-January 2009 Israeli deadly attack on Gaza, headed by South African jurist Richard Goldstone, declared that Israel committed war crimes.

Syria also dislikes Pillay

The assembly approved the extension of Pillay's term by consensus without a vote. The Syrian delegation did not formally object to her reappointment but made clear it was unhappy with her criticism of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's 14-month battle with an opposition that is determined to oust him.

"The high commissioner for human rights has taken hostile positions regarding Syria, basing (them) on totally fabricated information and suspect sources, all of this directed against Syria," Syrian envoy Monia Alsaleh told the 193-nation assembly.

"Despite all of this Syria will adhere to consensus ... in the hope that she will review her anti-Syria position," she said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Mayıs 2012, 12:33

SeydiAli

YORUM EKLE