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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06USUNNEWYORK429 2006-03-07 10:50:00 CONFIDENTIAL USUN New York
Cable title:  

HRC: PGA ELIASSON AND OTHERS SEEK SIGNS OF U.S.

Tags:   KUNR UNGA UNCHR 
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DE RUCNDT #0429/01 0661050
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 071050Z MAR 06
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8195
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 1963
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 000429 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FROM AMBASSADOR BOLTON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/06/2016
TAGS: KUNR UNGA UNCHR
SUBJECT: HRC: PGA ELIASSON AND OTHERS SEEK SIGNS OF U.S.
FLEXIBILITY

REF: USUN 422 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: AMB. ALEX WOLFF FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)




1. (C) Summary and Comment: Efforts continue to convince us
that core U.S. concerns about the Human Rights Council (HRC)
can be addressed in part "outside" of General Assembly
President (PGA) Eliasson's draft resolution. The focus is on
excluding countries under Security Council (SC) sanctions
through individual and collective commitments that would not
be part of the text, including through the Community of
Democracies (CD). The 2/3 voting threshold might, according
to Eliasson, be revisited as part of the HRC review process,
although the current draft appears to limit such opportunity.
The general approach Eliasson has taken is to persuade the
U.S. to voice a "soft no" rather than an actual negative
vote. USUN believes that anything less than an actual "no"
vote against Eliasson's text would have adverse results for
the U.S. We have clearly communicated to both the SG and
Eliasson in conversations with the Secretary directly that we
are going to call for a vote and vote "no" unless there are
changes in the text of the resolution that meet our basic
objectives. That position has been consistently conveyed to
other Missions in NY and Geneva, and to other capitals. This
is a principled and correct position. Not to follow through
on it now would seriously and perhaps irreparably damage our
position in the larger structure over U.S. reform. End
Summary and Comment.



2. (C) PGA Eliasson briefed Amb. Wolff March 6 on his
continuing contacts with other delegations about how to
address U.S. concerns on two key issues: SC sanctions
exclusion and a 2/3 vote. Eliasson said he has been in
contact with, among others, PermReps from Chile, France,
Austria (EU Presidency), and Mali to explore a role for the
Community of Democracies (CD) in excluding from the Human
Rights Council (HRC) countries under SC sanctions. He said
he discerned great sympathy for the U.S. view that countries
under such sanctions should not be able to be elected to the
HRC. Eliasson said this view also extended to the idea of
coordination among CD members to vote for the best candidates
running for the HRC. He said he would leave it to these
countries to discuss the matter directly with us, and thought
such an approach would likely ensure that the objective of
excluding such countries from the HRC could be met. He added
that Mali, as current CD Chair, was enthusiastic about the
idea and was considering convening a meeting of CD members to
pursue this point.



3. (C) Eliasson also reiterated his support for an early
review of the HRC's "status", which he said would not
necessarily mean a narrow definition limited only to whether
the HRC remains a subsidiary body. He argued that since the
current text called for a review within five years, he could
make a statement as PGA interpreting the provision as
allowing for a much earlier and much broader review.
According to Eliasson, even the opponents of human rights
would find an earlier review attractive. Such a review, he
continued, might allow a reconsideration of the 2/3 voting
threshold.



4. (C) Eliasson said he was determined to build bridges
toward our position, albeit only outside the text since he
continues to believe opening any element for re-negotiation
would unravel the entire project. He told Amb. Wolff he was
convinced that the current language in his draft is
unprecedented in the UN system in setting expectations and
conditionality for membership to a UN body. He said he was
also convinced, along with a large majority of other member
states, that this draft and the environment surrounding it
would lead to a substantial improvement over the Geneva
Commission.



5. (C) In separate conversations with Amb. Wolff, some of
the same PermReps (Chile, Austria and France), and the UK
presented differing interpretations of Eliasson's approach.
On the one hand, they agreed that U.S. concerns about
excluding countries under SC sanctions could be achieved
indirectly by lining up support from a large number of
countries also opposed to such candidacies; on the other,
they felt this was better pursued within the UN system either
though individual or other collective undertakings. They
thought a process could be identified by which such
commitments could be reflected, even if they had not yet
identified any. UK PermRep Jones Parry also suggested the
idea of incorporating into any relevant SC sanctions
resolution a prohibition on serving on the HRC, although he
had no immediate answer to Amb. Wolff's question whether
Russia and China would agree to such a provision when they
opposed the concept during the HRC negotiations.





6. (C) The plain fact is that "fixes" to the current
unacceptable draft resolution can only be made in the
resolution itself. Proposals that would operate outside of
the text are inherently unsatisfactory, since only the text
itself functions as the governing authority for the new HRC.
Steps outside of the text have no more authority than
individual explanations of vote, which are only advisory and
not binding. As such, such "fixes" cannot provide the
protection we need -- protection which was precluded by
Eliasson's refusal to incorporate our position in the text or
to open it for changes.



7. (C) As for the role of the CD, the organization remains
untested in its ability to ensure how its members vote in UN
elections. In the UN system, regional groups retain a hammer
lock on the process for identifying candidates for election
to bodies like the HRC. Not only is regional solidarity
likely to remain sacrosanct, but the established process of
trading votes would also likely trump the CD.



8. (C) We see no advantage in Eliasson's suggestion that the
review of the Council, now set at five years, be held instead
in 2-3 years, since the only issue understood in the text to
be the subject of the review is whether the HRC should remain
a subsidiary body of the GA or whether it should become a
Principal Organ of the UN. Accordingly, Eliasson's draft
provides no basis in a future review -- whenever it is held
-- to re-examine the many elements we find so troubling,
especially the majority vote threshold. In short, reducing
the amount of time at which the review takes place does
nothing to help advance our interests or address our
concerns.
BOLTON