Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 13

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher observed on April 22 that the United States had been disappointed that the UN Human Rights Commission at its recent annual meeting in Geneva had failed to censure Iran, Russia and Zimbabwe for significant human rights abuses. On April 19, the UN commission had failed by one vote (16 to 15, with 22 abstentions) to endorse the position on Chechnya taken in the European Parliament’s recent resolution. “We were disappointed by the narrow loss on Chechnya,” Boucher commented (Reuters, April 22).

Reporting from Geneva in the no. 28 (April 18) issue of Novaya Gazeta, leading Russian war correspondent Anna Politkovskaya noted that the Russian delegation that had recently participated in the meetings of the UN Human Rights Commission–with twenty-three members, it represented the largest of all the national delegations to the commission–had consisted, with one possible exception, of complete no-names with no known connections to human rights activities. Their names were, she determined after making several telephone calls, totally unfamiliar to the leaders of such major Russian human rights organizations as Memorial, the Moscow Helsinki Group and the Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers.