Better news

Michael De Dora says the story about the Saudi guy’s role on a panel of independent experts on the UN Human Rights Council isn’t particularly worrying after all, and it also isn’t news.

Saudi Arabia has been one of the five members of the Consultative Group for the whole year, starting with the March 2015 session. In fact, the Saudi ambassador was chair of the Group for the June session, and the vice-chair for the March session, so it’s not red-hot news in September.

What the Consultative Group does is, it evaluates applications for independent experts (mostly called Special Rapporteurs), ranking the top three candidates for each vacant mandate and providing justification for their nominations. The President of the HRC makes the final decision, and the pres can accept or depart from the Group’s recommendation. The HRC then votes on the final candidate. You can read more about this process here.

The good news is, Michael looked through the nominated independent experts and saw no evidence that they are weaker on human rights due to Saudi involvement in the Consultative Group. One of the most recent recommendations by the group, for the position of Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, is the US-based academic Karima Bennoune. Look at her bio, or her most recent book, or her articles on Open Democracy, or this piece in the Guardian. Michael says she’s a fantastic nominee for the position.

You can find information on the March and June appointments here and here.

So that’s all good. The fox has not taken over the henhouse duty after all. I thank Michael for telling me this – all the above is straight from him, mostly in his words.

One Response to “Better news”