Yesterday, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan reportedly sent a letter to the Human Rights Council, condemning it for being too narrowly focused on the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. Today, we have seen the letter itself. Below is the opening of the letter, which goes on to discuss less exciting structure issues for the Council.
MESSAGE TO THE THIRD SESSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
GENEVA, 29 NOVEMBER 2006
Distinguished Members of the Human Rights Council,
I send you my greetings as you begin your third regular session. Since your first session in June you have been very active - holding three special sessions as well as two regular ones. You have focused especially on the Arab-Israeli conflict, which indeed has escalated during these months in ways that cause deep concern to us all. I am glad to note that the High Commissioner is also paying close attention to developments in the Middle East, and that you will be hearing a report from her on her recent visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
I hope, however, that the Council will take care to handle this issue in an impartial way, and not allow it to monopolize attention at the expense of others where there are equally grave or even graver violations. There are surely other situations, besides the one in the Middle East, which would merit scrutiny by a special session of this Council. I would suggest that Darfur is a glaring case in point.