U.N. rights body recommends suspension of Libya

The United Nations Human Rights Council has unanimously passed a resolution recommending suspension of Libya from the Geneva-based body and decided to conduct an independent probe into violations by the Qadhafi regime, which has launched a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.

The 47-nation body’s recommendation to suspend Libya needs to be approved by a two-thirds majority at the 192-member United Nations General Assembly here.

The U.N.’s top rights body also decided to “urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry... to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in Libya.”

“It (the move) must now go further,” Gerard Araud, French envoy to the U.N., said here on Friday.

“We call on the president of the General Assembly to convene as soon as possible a session of the General Assembly to confirm its (Libya’s) suspension (from U.N. Human Rights Council).”

As the U.N. body in Geneva passed its resolution, the Libyan envoy there made an emotional public announcement of his defection. “We in the Libyan mission have categorically decided to serve as representatives of the Libyan people and their free will,” the diplomat, who wished not to be named, told the Council, according to media reports. “We only represent the Libyan people, we will serve as their representative in this august body and in other international fora.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed the move by the U.N. Human Rights Council, condemning human rights violations and violence committed by the Libyan government against its own people. “We strongly support the Council’s establishment of an independent commission of inquiry to investigate these violations with a view towards ensuring that those responsible are held accountable,” Ms. Clinton said in a statement.

The United States is working with other countries at the U.N. General Assembly to build support for a resolution to do so, she said.

“These steps underscore the international community’s profound concern about the abuses in Libya, and we urge all nations to speak with one voice in support of universal human rights,” Ms. Clinton said. “That includes an immediate end to Libyan government’s violence against the Libyan people and support for the universal rights of peaceful assembly, free speech, and self-determination,” she added.

The Libyan people should be able to determine their own destiny, she said.

“Today’s vote (at the UN human rights body) must be followed by sustained commitment and consistent action, and I will discuss this challenge with my colleagues at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday,” Ms. Clinton said.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 5:03:43 AM |

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