//India backs 'strong, effective' Human Rights Council

India backs 'strong, effective' Human Rights Council

By Indo Asian News Service

Geneva, June 20 (IANS) India has called for making the newly constituted UN Human Rights Council (HRC) 'a strong, effective and efficient body' where 'a new work culture of cooperation' will protect fundamental freedoms of all citizens of the world.
Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma represented India at the first session of the newly formed Human Rights Council here Monday.

Describing the formation of the HRC as 'a milestone in the long journey' of promoting human rights and freedoms, Sharma voiced optimism about the HRC – which was formed after scrapping the Commission on Human Rights that was accused of playing political games – at the inaugural meeting.

Sharma spoke eloquently about 'the need to introduce a new work culture of cooperation and mutual understanding and reorient the international human rights machinery to promote and protect human rights by strengthening the capacity of states,' said a statement by the Permanent Mission of India here.

'India remains committed to make the Human Rights Council a strong, effective and efficient body capable of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms for all,' it said.

Sharma also warned against 'double standards and selectivity' in the practice of human rights and underlined the principles of transparency and objectivity as the guiding principles of the newly constituted council.

He hoped the new council will 'ensure equal treatment of all member states and also prevent selectivity and double standards' by instituting a Universal Periodic Review mechanism.

'People around the world have high expectations from the new council. They hope that the new body will make a real difference on the ground and give voice to the concerns and aspirations of the underprivileged,' he said.

India was elected to the HRC winning the maximum number of votes last month – a sign of New Delhi's growing global stature and trust it inspires among other countries.

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service