International - POSTED: 2007/05/08 16:33
In a joint report released by UN Watch and Freedom House, the organizations outlined a review of candidates to serve on the council, and listed candidate nations Angola, Belarus, Egypt, and Qatar as "not qualified" to serve based on the inadequate human rights records of the countries.
Belarus was included on Freedom House's 2007 list of "The Worst of the Worst", a report detailing the human rights records of the most repressive societies. Last month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pressed member nations to work with the council, expressing hope that cooperation would help to end human rights abuses. The Human Rights Council was criticized for its limited successes in Israel and Sudan last year, when both countries refused to accept UNHRC investigative teams. In February, a UNHRC probe to the Darfur region was canceled when Sudan refused to grant a visa to one of the members of the investigation team. In September 2006, the US expressed disappointment with the work of the UNHRC for failing to adequately address violations in Darfur, North Korea, and China and has since refused for a second year to run for election to the body, created last year to replace the largely-discredited UN Human Rights Commission.