Nine members were elected today to a United Nations human rights expert panel monitoring the implementation of an international treaty on civil and political liberties, replacing those members whose terms are due to expire at the end of the year.
Among those re-elected to the 18-person Human Rights Committee were Abdelfattah Amor of Tunisia, Nisuke Ando of Japan, Prafullachandra Bhagwati of India, Christine Chanet of France and Hipolito Slari Yrigoyen of Argentina.
Meanwhile, Walter Kalin of Switzerland, Ruth Wedgewood of the United States, Roman Wieruszewski of Poland and Alfredo Castillero Hoyos of Panama were elected as new members, and Valery Kuchinsky of Ukraine was chosen as its Chairman.
The Committee was established to monitor the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its related Protocols in the territory of States parties. The experts serve the Committee, which convenes three times a year in New York and in Geneva, in their personal capacity and are chosen based on their high moral character and recognized competence in human rights.
Since the Committee last met, Eritrea had become party to the Covenant while Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Mali, Mexico and Yugoslavia had become parties to the treaty's First Optional Protocol, under which the Committee can receive and consider communications from individuals claiming that their human rights had been violated.
In addition, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania and Yugoslavia had become parties to the Covenant's Second Optional Protocol aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.