Tags: U.S. | Focus | Cuba | Korea | Human | Rights | Meeting

U.S. to Focus on Cuba, N. Korea at Human Rights Meeting

Sunday, 20 March 2005 12:00 AM

Since 1989, the United States has annually sponsored a resolution on Cuba. U.S. officials say they will do so again this year to keep the issue of Cuba's human rights on the record and to keep the personal representative of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in place within the country.

The officials said dialogue is not a valid option for addressing Cuba's human-rights record, noting Cuba's failure to live up to a paper co-signed with Canada on human rights and the general unwillingness of Cuban officials to discuss meaningful changes.

The United States will also co-sponsor other resolutions on democratic election standards, torture, and counterterrorism policy, and might sponsor a resolution on freedom of association, with particular emphasis on labor rights.

Officials also said that the administration is watching developments regarding a potential resolution on Sudan, but would support that resolution only if it were of the same strength as U.N. Security Council actions on Sudan.

Also announced were special briefings to be held the week of March 20 for member states and nongovernmental organizations on controversial War on Terror policies regarding detainees and detainee facilities. Matthew Waxman, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, will lead those briefings.

In addition, Pierre-Richard Prosper, ambassador-at-large for issues involving war crimes, will give briefings the following week to special rapporteurs, or organizational reporters, who have sought access to detainee facilities on detainment policies. The briefings will increase transparency and increase accountability, officials said.

When asked why the United States had decided not to introduce a resolution on the human-rights situation in China, the officials said that recent actions by China were part of an agreement to withhold the resolution.

Those actions included: an agreement to give political prisoners the same rights to sentence reductions and paroles as other prisoners; a statement saying religious education of minors is consistent with Chinese law; an announcement of the opening of an office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Beijing; and invitations to a number of special rapporteurs, including those on torture.

The United States would still raise the issue of Chinese human rights during proceedings, officials said.

The officials also noted the imbalance of resolutions regarding the Israeli/Palestinian situation and said they hoped recent events in the region would lead to positive developments regarding the issue.

(USINFO)

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Since 1989, the United States has annually sponsored a resolution on Cuba.U.S. officials say they will do so again this year to keep the issue of Cuba's human rights on the record and to keep the personal representative of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in...
U.S.,Focus,Cuba,,Korea,Human,Rights,Meeting
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2005-00-20
Sunday, 20 March 2005 12:00 AM
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