Press Releases

    10 June 2005

    Economic and Social Council Requests Human Rights Commission Chair to Hold Consultations on ‘In Larger Freedom’ Recommendations

    NEW YORK, 9 June (UN Headquarters) -- The Economic and Social Council this morning decided to request the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights to organize, at the Commission’s sixty-first session, an open-ended informal consultations of up to two days to reflect on the Secretary-General’s recommendations on human rights contained in his report In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all (document A/59/2005).

    The open-ended informal consultations would be organized with a view to contributing to the intergovernmental deliberations in the General Assembly on the proposed reforms of the United Nations. To that end, the Economic and Social Council, in its decision contained in document E/2005/L.11/Rev.1 and adopted without a vote, authorized the Chairperson to prepare a summary of the informal consultations, by 15 June, to be transmitted to the Assembly’s President through the President of the Council.

    The Council acted in response to General Assembly resolutions 59/145 and 59/291, in which the Assembly, among other things, requested its President to continue to hold open, inclusive and transparent consultations with all Member States, with a view to reaching the broadest possible agreement on all major issues relating to the High-level Plenary Meeting to be held in September.

    Prior to adoption of the draft, Cuba’s representative said that any proposal of reform in the area of human rights should meet with the support of the United Nations relevant body. While not objecting to the adoption of the text before the Council, he believed the matter should be considered in greater detail, in view of the importance of the process undertaken. He would have preferred to take up decision 2005/116, adopted by the Commission on Human Rights on 22 April.

    A statement on the programme budget implications of the draft was presented to the Council by its Secretary, who said that should the text be adopted, estimated conference services and other requirements in the amount of $57,300 would arise.

    In that connection the United States’ representative said that her delegation expected those costs to be fully absorbed in the regular budget.

    In other action, the Council elected Sweden to complete the unexpired portion of the term of Switzerland on the Programme Coordination Board of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Sweden’s term would begin today and expire on 31 December 2006. It also included in the agenda of this year’s substantive session a request of the Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine, which wishes to participate as an observer in the Economic and Social Council.

    Also this morning, the Council decided to defer until its substantive session its consideration of a draft decision on the multi-year work programme for the coordination segment of the Council.

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