CHOGM defers human rights watchdog proposal after opposition
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Perth, Oct 29: Bowing to stiff opposition, the Commonwealth Heads of Government today deferred setting up of a human rights watchdog for the 54-nation bloc, prompting criticism by a group of statesmen who had made the proposal.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers had examined the proposal of a human rights commissioner, as suggested by the 11-member Eminent Persons Group (EPG), but there were "broad range of concerns" over it.
Trying to put up a brave face, Gillard said the leaders had examined the proposal and suggested "further procedure" by asking the Secretary General and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) chair look into it and report back to them.
The leaders had yesterday agreed to strengthen the CMAG by empowering it to engage member nations veering off the track of democracy.
However, the EPG appeared to be unimpressed by the "inadequate action" and went public with their presentation to the leaders contending that the CHOGM "will be remembered not as the triumph it should be, but as a failure" if their recommendations were not accepted.
The 11-member EPG chaired by former Malaysian PM Abdullah Badawi was invited for a retreat lunch of the leaders for an informal interaction.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 29 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 29 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Perth, Oct 29: Bowing to stiff opposition, the Commonwealth Heads of Government today deferred setting up of a human rights watchdog for the 54-nation bloc, prompting criticism by a group of statesmen More