Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07ALGIERS861
2007-06-18 12:29:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Algiers
Cable title:  

MFA'S BOUGUERRA DISCUSSES HRC BUSINESS

Tags:  PHUM KDEM PGOV UNHRC AG 
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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAS #0861/01 1691229
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 181229Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY ALGIERS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3863
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1646
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 8586
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2222
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 1808
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 6649
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0456
C O N F I D E N T I A L ALGIERS 000861 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

PASS TO DRL DAS BARKS-RUGGLES

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2017
TAGS: PHUM KDEM PGOV UNHRC AG
SUBJECT: MFA'S BOUGUERRA DISCUSSES HRC BUSINESS


Classified By: Ambassador Robert S. Ford. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L ALGIERS 000861

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

PASS TO DRL DAS BARKS-RUGGLES

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2017
TAGS: PHUM KDEM PGOV UNHRC AG
SUBJECT: MFA'S BOUGUERRA DISCUSSES HRC BUSINESS


Classified By: Ambassador Robert S. Ford. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).


1. (C) SUMMARY. On June 9 visiting DRL DAS Erica
Barks-Ruggles met with the MFA Director General for
Multilateral Affairs Madjid Bouguerra to discuss special
procedures used by the Human Rights Council (HRC) to
monitor and publicly report on human rights situations.
Bouguerra indicated that Algeria would support the
elimination of country-specific mandates, support the
Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) Agenda item, and
support the election of special mandate holders and
experts. Despite these serious areas of disagreement, the
GOA largely agrees with the U.S. position on the Universal
Periodic Review (UPR) and Resolution 1503. Due to the
recent appointment of Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci,
Bouguerra could not confirm his attendance at the upcoming
annual session in Geneva, June 11-18. Bouguerra said he
would discuss with the Algerian Ambassador in Geneva
continued friction. END SUMMARY.

Special procedures - Mandates


2. (C) In response to the USG position on preserving
mandates, Bouguerra said he had no problem with supporting
the renewal of thematic mandates. However, regarding
country-specific mandates, he reported that there is a
general consensus among the member states of the
Non-Aligned Movement, Arab states, and many in the African
group that they should be eliminated because of their
confrontational stance and their lack of success. Bouguerra
further reasoned that building consensus was better than
confrontation. He admitted that since there are no
alternatives for country-specific mandates, Algeria would
probably go along with the majority of countries pushing
for their elimination. DAS Barks-Ruggles pushed back on
this issue and expressed great concern over the lack of
tools for the HRC to push for HRC improvements and
reforms.

Special Rapporteurs and Experts Selection vs. Election


3. (C) Bouguerra stated that Algeria is against having the
Council President select the Special Rapporteurs because a
politically-biased selection cannot be avoided. Elected
rapporteurs were preferable. Bouguerra, however, was more
favorable to support a roster and selection process after
DAS Barks-Ruggles pointed out that for both Special
Rapporteurs and Experts the Sub-Commission operating
expenses had exceeded the now-defunct HR Commission's
budget threefold and a roster selection with experts
available only as needed to address the specific taskings
of the Council could greatly reduce the operational
expenses.

HRC Agenda


4. (C) Both interlocutors agreed that the 19 permanent
agenda items of the United Nations Human Rights Commission
(UNHRC) encouraged conflict rather than cooperation. DAS
Barks-Ruggles pressed for the HRC agenda to be broad and
general to allow the Council to address issues as they
arise. Bouguerra countered that there be no double
standards, but then quickly added that public opinion
required retention of an OPT agenda item. Regarding the
Darfur crisis, Bouguerra supported applying friendly
pressure on Khartoum, but insisted the government of Sudan
must buy into HRC concerns.

Universal Periodic Review - NGO Participation


5. (C) In response to reiteration of USG position,
Bouguerra reiterated Algeria's position that the Council is
an inter-governmental body. Therefore, non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) should interact with the Council and
not be involved in evaluating member states.

Other Items


6. (C) Both interlocutors agreed there was scope to work
together on the Code of Conduct. Bouguerra argued that the
High Office of the Commissioner should serve as the
Council's secretariat. He added that several states were
of the same opinion. DAS Barks-Ruggles pushed back noting
the separate mandate of the High Commissioner has and her
own independent mandate and funding for her office is not a
slush fund for the HRC.


7. (C) In a private session at the end of the meeting, DAS
Barks-Ruggles expressed concern that the behavior of Idriss
Jazairy, Algerian permanent representative in Geneva, was
inconsistent with AF group thinking. As a result,
Algeria's reputation in Washington was suffering.
Bouguerra said that he had previously discussed this issue
with Ambassador Ford and afterward had spoken to Jazairy.
He offered that he would call Jazairy again and instruct
him to "listen more carefully." Bouguerra concluded that he
might lead the Algerian delegation himself during the
upcoming session, because his government wanted to finish
well at the Council.


8. (U) This cable has been cleared by DAS Erica
Barks-Ruggles.

FORD