Cyprus supports strengthening of UN Human Rights institutions
by Maria Myles
United Nations, Sep 15 (CNA)-- Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos pointed out here Thursday the need for the strengthening of the United Nations Human Rights institutions, expressing Cyprus' support for reform to the Security Council so as to reinforce its credibility and legitimacy.
In an intervention at the High Level Plenary Meeting of the UN-General Assembly, President Papadopoulos pointed out that the ''current UN human rights institutional framework faces considerable problems in the implementation of those norms and standards,'' adding that ''mainstreaming of human rights in the entire UN system has yet to be achieved''.
''The respect and promotion of the human rights of all people and in particular of internally displaced persons, refugees and missing persons are of vital importance to Cyprus,'' the President said, adding that ''for these reasons we support the upgrading of the Commission on Human Rights to a Human Rights Council and the enhancement of the leadership role for the High Commissioner for Human Rights.''
Papadopoulos expressed the belief that ''the UN and the world community have an obligation and a responsibility to protect innocent populations against awful violations of human rights, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing.''
Referring to the Security Council, the UN body for the maintenance of international peace and security, Papadopoulos noted that it ''should reinforce the fundamental obligation of member-states under the Charter to refrain from the threat or use of force and to avoid aggression.''
''The Republic of Cyprus, which has suffered from the use of force and foreign aggression and is still suffering from occupation,'' the President underlined, ''firmly believes that we need to reform the Security Council so as to reinforce its credibility and legitimacy, through, inter alia, the improvement of its working methods and decision making procedures. Securing efficiency in the implementation of its resolutions remains an absolute necessity.''
''In fact, our Organization will be as strong and effective as its membership wishes it or allows it to be,'' Papadopoulos noted.
Papadopoulos also said that the UN should be empowered to deal effectively with the changing nature of threats to collective security, such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and transnational crime, while not forgetting the settlement of old disputes.
''Peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peace-building are vital activities for the strengthening of the Organizationís capacity to promote collective security,'' Papadopoulos added, noting that ''the proposed Peace-building Commission will provide the long overdue answer to the need for post-conflict action.''
''Referring to the fight against terrorism, we fully agree with the Secretary-Generalís counter-terrorism strategy and its five pillars. On disarmament and non-proliferation we offered our support to the relevant initiative of Norway and others,'' he added.