04/05/2004
Press Release
ECOSOC/6110



Economic and Social Council                                

2004 Organizational Session                                

11th Meeting (AM)


UNITED STATES VOICES OBJECTIONS AS AFRICAN GROUP PROPOSES SUDAN


FOR ELECTION TO COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS


As Economic and Social Council Fills Vacancies

In Subsidiary Bodies, Sudan Wins Election by Acclamation


Prior to the Sudan’s election by acclamation to the Commission on Human Rights today, the United States delegation called on the Economic and Social Council to consider the consequences of allowing the Commission to become a safe haven for the world’s worst human rights violators, especially one engaged in ethnic cleansing.


The Council, in a resumed organizational session leading to its substantive session in July, filled vacancies on a number of its subsidiary bodies, including the Commission on Human Rights, to which it elected 14 members.  Members were also elected to the Commission on Population and Development, the Commission for Social Development, and the Commission on Sustainable Development, among other bodies.


Excusing his delegation from the meeting after the submission of the Sudan’s candidacy, the representative of the United States said he was perplexed and dismayed that the African Group had submitted, for the third time, a country that massacred its own citizens.  This year, as in previous ones, that candidacy was entirely inappropriate.  He urged the Group to consider the effect of that on the Commission’s reputation and ability to function effectively as the world’s protector of human rights and freedoms.


In light of reports of such serious human rights violations in Darfur, the Sudan’s admission to the Commission threatened not only to undermine its work, but its very credibility, he warned.  It was clear to the United States and most of the Commission that the human rights and humanitarian crisis in the Sudan was of a tragic scale.  The Secretary-General, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, had likened the events in Darfur to ethnic cleansing.


The Sudan’s representative said he would not respond to the overflow of exaggerated allegations against his country.  The Government of the Sudan had acknowledged fully the humanitarian problem in Darfur and had called on the international community to lend a helping hand.  It was ironic that the United States delegation, while shedding crocodile tears over the situation in Darfur, was turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by American forces in Iraq.


Those who lived in glass houses should not throw stones, he said, deploring the excessive and disproportionate use of the most lethal weapons known to man against the “liberated” civilian population in Iraq.  No one would forget the live reporting on the unearthing of innocent people buried in mass graves in a football stadium, or the degrading treatment of Iraqi prisoners, and reports of widespread rape and sexual abuses against women and children in the Abu Ghraib Prison.  Allegations that Coalition forces were using indiscriminate force were rampant, he added.


The Economic and Social Council will continue the election process at 3 p.m. today.


Elections, Appointments and Nominations


The Council completed its Statistical Commission with the election, by acclamation, of China and Japan from the Asian States; Hungary from the Eastern European States; Colombia and Mexico from the Latin American and CaribbeanStates; and Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom from the Western European and Other States.  They will all serve four-year terms beginning on 1 January 2005.


Also be acclamation, the Council then elected the following countries to the Commission on Population and Development for four-year terms beginning on 1 January 2005:  Cameroon, Comoros and Morocco from the Group of African States; Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia from the Group of Asian States; Bulgaria from the Group of Eastern European States; Brazil, Guyana and Peru from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States; and Canada and Germany from the Group of Western European and Other States.  The Council postponed the election of two members from the Western European and Other States.


Addressing the Commission’s outstanding six vacancies, the Council elected, without a vote, Pakistan from the Asian Group, to fill one of them.  The remaining outstanding vacancies were postponed.  They included:  one member from the Latin American and CaribbeanStates, expiring on 31 December 2004; two members from the Asian States, expiring on 31 December 2005; one member each from the EasternEuropeanStates and the Latin American and CaribbeanStates, both expiring on 31 December 2007.


Turning to the Commission for Social Development, the Council elected, also by acclamation, the following countries for four-year terms, beginning in 2005:  Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania from the African Group; Bangladesh, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Myanmar from the Asian Group; the Czech Republic from the Eastern European States; Bolivia, Paraguay and Venezuela from the Latin American and Caribbean Group; and Finland, Italy and the Netherlands from the Western European and Other States.


The Council decided to postpone elections for the following vacancies, which were also supposed to begin in 2005:  one African member; one Eastern European member; and one Western European member.  Also, the Republic of Moldova was elected to fill an outstanding vacancy that would begin today and expire in 2008.


Taking up elections for the Commission on Human Rights, the Council elected the following members by acclamation for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2005:  Guinea, Kenya, the Sudan and Togo from the African States; Armenia and Romania from the Eastern European States; and Ecuador and Mexico from the Latin American and Caribbean States.


A secret ballot was used to elect the remaining members.  From the Asian States, the results of the vote were as follows:  Malaysia, 51; Republic of Korea, 45; Pakistan, 43; and Viet Nam, 23.  Thus, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and Pakistan won the election.  From the Western European and Other States, the results were as follows:  Finland, 48; France, 44; Canada, 38; and Spain, 27.  Thus, Finland, France and Canada won the election.


Turning to the Commission on the Status of Women, the Council elected, by acclamation, the following States to four-year terms beginning at the initial meeting in 2005:  Mali, Morocco and the United Republic of Tanzania from the Group of African States; Japan and Qatar from the Group of Asian States; Croatia from the Eastern European States; Belize and Peru from the Latin American and Caribbean States; and Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom from the Western European and Other States.


To the Commission on Sustainable Development, the following States were elected, without a vote, to three-year terms, beginning at the organizational meeting in 2005:  Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe from the Group of African States; China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia and Thailand from the Group of Asian States; Belarus and Serbia and Montenegro from the Eastern European States; Belize, Bolivia, Cuba and Mexico from the Latin American and Caribbean States; and Belgium, Canada, Germany, Israel and Italy from the Western European and Other States.


The Council then elected members of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development.  The following countries were elected, by acclamation, to four-year terms beginning on 1 January 2005:  Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Gambia and Sierra Leone from the Group of African States; Jordan, Oman and Pakistan from the Group of Asian States; the Russian Federation from the Eastern European States; Brazil, Jamaica and Peru from the Latin American and Caribbean States; and Austria, Italy and the United Kingdom from the Western European and Other States.


After the Council decided to postpone the election of one member from the EasternEuropeanStates and one from the Western European and Other States, it elected Italy for a term beginning today and expiring on 31 December 2004.


Turning to the Committee for Programme and Coordination, the Council elected the following members to three-year terms, beginning on 1 January 2005:  Algeria, Ghana and Kenya from the African Group; and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea from the Asian Group.  The Council decided to postpone the nomination of one member from the Latin American and Caribbean Group.


The Council then turned to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  By acclamation, it elected the following individuals:  Waleed Sa’di (Jordan) and Shen Yongxiang (China) from the Group of Asian States; Sergei Martynov (Belarus) and Andrzej Rzeplinski (Poland) from the Group of Eastern European States; Rocio Barahona Riera (Costa Rica) from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States; and Giorgio Malinverni (Switzerland) and Philippe Texier (France) from the Group of Western European and Other States.


By secret ballot, the Council elected the following members from the Group of African States:  Mohamed Ezzeldin Abdel-Moneim (Egypt); and Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay (Mauritius).  They received 50 and 47 votes, respectively.  Haroun Ali Eltayeb (Sudan), with 7 votes was not elected.


Turning to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Marjatta Rasi (Finland), Council President, announced that in accordance with resolution 2000/22, she had appointed eight experts, based on diversity and geographical distribution, to three-year terms, beginning on 1 January 2005.  They were:  Michael Dodson (Australia); Hassan Id Balkassm (Morocco); Wilton Littlechild (Canada); Aqqaluk Lynge (Denmark); Nina Pacari Vega (Ecuador); Pavel Sulyandziga (Russian Federation); Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (Philippines); and Parshuram Tamang (Nepal).


The following eight candidates were elected, by acclamation, to the same term:  Njuma Ekundanayo (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and William Ralph Joey Langeveldt (South Africa) from the African States; Qin Xiaomei (China) from the Asian States; Yuri Boychenko (Russian Federation) from the Eastern European States; Eduardo Aguiar de Almeida (Brazil) and Otilia Lux de Coti (Guatemala) from the Latin American and Caribbean States; and Ida Nicolaisen (Denmark) from the Western European and Other States.


The Council decided to postpone the election of one member from the Eastern European States for the same term.


For three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2005, the Council elected the following to the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund by acclamation:  Mozambique from the Group of African States; China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from the Group of Asian States; the Russian Federation and Ukraine from the Eastern European States; Argentina and Bolivia from the Latin American and Caribbean States; and Australia, Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands from the Western European and Other States.


Because Denmark and Canada were resigning, the Council elected by acclamation:  Finland to complete Denmark’s term, which would end on 31 December 2006; and Norway to complete Canada’s term, which would end on 31 December 2005.


The Council then elected, by acclamation, Egypt and Zambia to the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.


Turning to the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund, the Council elected, by acclamation, the following members to three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2005:  Uganda from the African States; the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Kazakhstan from the Asian States; Belarus and Ukraine from the Eastern European States; Guyana and Guatemala from the Latin American and Caribbean States; and Portugal, Turkey, Switzerland and the United States from the Western European and Other States.


The Council then held elections for the Executive Board of the World Food Programme.  Elected to three-year terms, beginning on 1 January 2005, were the following countries:  Ethiopia and Tunisia from the African States; China from the Asian States; Cuba from the Latin American and Caribbean States; and Australia and Norway from the Western European and Other States.


Additionally, because Greece was resigning, the Council elected France, by acclamation, to complete that term, which would end on 31 December 2006.


Turning to the Programme Coordination Board of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Council elected, by acclamation, the following members:  Kenya and Libya from the African States; India and Nepal from the Asian States; the Russian Federation from the Eastern European States; and Brazil from the Latin American and CaribbeanStates.  Elections to the same term, for two members from the Western European and other States, were postponed.


Elected by acclamation to four-year terms, beginning on 1 January 2005, for the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, were the following members:  Ghana, Libya, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania from the African States; Bangladesh, China and the United Arab Emirates from the Asian States; the Czech Republic from the Eastern European States; and Belgium, Canada and France from the Western European and Other States.


Elections to the same term for one Asian member, one Eastern European member, three Latin American and Caribbean members and two Western European members were postponed.


The Council then took up a vacancy on the International Narcotics Control Board, which had arisen, owing to the resignation of Jacques Franquet (France).  The election was conducted by secret ballot and involved a term beginning today and expiring on 1 March 2007.  The results were expected this afternoon.


The Council then conducted one more election by secret ballot.  It was intended to choose one additional member of the International Narcotics Control Board from a list of three nominees provided by the World Health Organization.  The post entailed a five-year term beginning on 2 March 2005.  The results were expected this afternoon.


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