Press Release


Human Rights Commission
13 March 2006

The Human Rights Commission this morning opened its sixty-second session and then decided by consensus to suspend its work for one week until Monday, 20 March.

Ambassador Manuel Rodriguez Cuadros of Peru, the Chairman of the sixty-second session of the Commission, said that under ordinary circumstances, they would be opening the session. However, they were facing an extraordinary situation, particularly because of the ongoing negotiations to create a Human Rights Council which they understand would strengthen the capacities of the United Nations human rights system. Independently from the negotiations in New York, the Commission had to execute its mandate and it was determined to do so. The expanded Bureau, in agreement with the regional groups, had been discussing these issues and adopted a joint position.
Ambassador Zohrab Mnatskanian of Armenia said that, given the present circumstances of transition and reform of the Commission on Human Rights, and in reflection of the extensive consultations of the previous week, as well as in anticipation of further coordinated efforts to ensure smooth, effective and agreed conduct of work of the sixty-second session of the Commission, his delegation asked for the floor in order to move the suspension of the present meeting, in accordance with rule 48 of the rules of procedure. The suspension was proposed for a period of one week.

The Chairman said the Commission had decided by consensus to suspend its work until Monday, 20 March at 10 a.m.. This exceptional decision had been adopted thanks to the spirit of cooperation and compromise of all members of the Commission. He hoped that this spirit of cooperation, mutual understanding and flexibility prevailed during the consultations that would be held by the expanded Bureau from this afternoon as well as during the work they would begin next week.

On 16 January, the Commission elected Ambassador Rodriguez Cuadros as Chairperson of the sixty-second session. The Vice-Chairpersons elected were Roger Julien Menga of the Congo; Zohrab Mnatsakanian of Armenia; and Paul Meyer of Canada. The Rapporteur elected was Sunu Mahadi Soemarno of Indonesia.

The composition of the Commission for 2006 is the following: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

The provisional agenda of the sixty-second session of the Commission is available in document (E/CN.4/2006/1). A list of the documents which will be before the Commission is available on the website of the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the following address http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/chr/sessions/62/listdocs.htm.
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