Pakistan thanks EU for its “concern” on emergency rule

UN High Commissioner for Human Right Louise Arbour reported on her activities since the last Council meeting in September.

Ms. Arbour’s remarks covered Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Brazil, Sudan, Pakistan, and Somalia. While Brazil and Afghanistan welcomed the High Commissioner’s comments, Pakistan and Sudan rejected any criticism. Pakistan reiterated its “commitment to the rule of law” and an independent judiciary, and mockingly thanked the European Union for its concern about the recent state of emergency rule in Pakistan.

Two strong critiques of the situation in Darfur came from High Commissioner Arbour and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan, Ms. Sima Samar.  The Sudanese delegation, joined by Sudanese president al-Bashir’s brother, said it remained “highly patient” with various armed groups in Darfur, and stressed its “respect for all conventions of human rights.”

Portugal on behalf of the EU urged Sudan to fully cooperate with the international community. Egypt on behalf of the African Group defended Sudan, saying it was the international community that “had failed” Sudan. The strongest rebuke of the Council’s inaction came from Canada, which said that the failure to help the victims of Darfur “shows that there is rhetoric but little concrete action.”

Gibreil Hamid, an activist from Darfur, spoke on behalf of UN Watch. “We, the victims of Darfur, were hoping so much that this new Human Rights Council would give us a voice, and make a difference in our lives. Yet the genocide continues, and it seems that all this Council does is ask for more reports.” (Click for more).

The day ended with a report by the Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro. Wednesday’s session (and blog update) will begin with that report and analysis.

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