Socialist International welcomes UN Human Rights Council

16 March 2006

The Socialist International is very pleased by the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to create a UN Human Rights Council, and the nearly unanimous support of UN members for the new body.

The International believes strongly that establishing the UN Human Rights Council with a clear mandate to address human rights conditions everywhere on a regular basis is a major step forward, and that it provides a great opportunity to enhance the ability of the United Nations and the entire international community to promote and protect human rights throughout the world.

The International urges all nations in every region to now cooperate in electing members of the Council who are firmly committed to defending human rights, and for members of the Council to agree on strong rules and fair and transparent procedures to ensure that that Council can carry out its work in the most objective and effective manner, and to guarantee that the voices of victims of human rights violations in every country can be heard.

The cause of human rights is a fundamental pillar of the global social democratic movement and an integral part of the work of the Socialist International to deepen democracy and promote positive social change in the world. In this sense, the International continues constantly to reaffirm the rights of the individual and the community alike, with rights guaranteed equally for women and men, including basic political freedoms as well as social, economic and labour rights.

The Socialist International, having always upheld the highest human rights standards, and having always believed that protecting human rights requires a coordinated global effort, looks forward to contributing and cooperating in every way possible as the new UN Human Rights Council undertakes its mission.