UN Human Rights Council to discuss situation in Belarus at 20th session
The UN Human Rights Council will discuss the situation in Belarus at its 20th session that opened in Geneva on June 18.
On the first day of the session, Navi Pillay, UN high commissioner for human rights, was to make an opening statement. It was to be followed by debates on annual reports by the commissioner and the commissioner's office.
The situation in Belarus is to be discussed by the Council on June 27. On that day, the Council's members will hear a report by the UN high commissioner, which says that the rights situation in the country has deteriorated after the December 2010 presidential election.
A number of NGOs plan to use the discussion to propose restoring the position of a UN special rapporteur on human rights in Belarus.
In 2007, the UN Human Rights Council abolished the position. The decision to drop the human rights monitor for Belarus was part of a compromise deal reached by the 47 nations on the Council to adopt new rules for the UN human rights body.
Western diplomats then warned that the new rules would make it virtually impossible to appoint new experts to monitor human rights in specific countries.