March 19, 2012
The Obama administration says that when the U.N. Human Rights Council adopts a report on the review of a country’s human rights record, the step is a mere formality and does not imply endorsing the report’s contents.
Last Wednesday, the Geneva-based HRC adopted a report on Libya’s human rights record that was first drafted during the Gaddafi era.
Despite the fact that the report incorporated expressions of praise for that regime by governments including Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, Syria, North Korea and “Palestine,” neither the U.S. nor any other council member objected to the report’s adoption – despite having been given the opportunity to do so by the HRC’s president.
The report was the outcome of Libya’s “universal periodic review” (UPR), a procedure in which every member of the U.N. has its human rights record evaluated once every four years.
Its adoption drew criticism from some veteran observers of the U.N.