Yuri Fedotov, who led the Russian delegation to the 60th session of the UN commission on human rights, which closed today, touched in his introductory speech on the failure of the third attempt of the European Union to have the committee session adopt a resolution in Chechnya. The diplomat explained the EU's failure by the latter stetting forth a politically motivated initiative which was of a confrontational character and had nothing to do with the tasks of upholding human rights, which prompt the need for cooperation. "We hope that the Chechen issue in the UN committee for human rights has been closed once and for all", concluded Yuri Fedotov.
None of the 20 Russian and foreign journalists who attended the press-conference asked any questions on Chechnya.
Those present were interested most of all in the situation concerning human rights in Latvia and Estonia. The reason is the success of the Russian delegation, led by Fedotov. It secured the inclusion of provisions on the inadmissibility of lauding former Nazis, including SS-men, and conniving at them otherwise, which is being observed in the said countries, in the resolutions adopted in Geneva. "We hope that the voice of the UN commission on human rights will make it possible to improve the condition of our compatriots in the Baltic countries," said Fedotov, adding that Moscow had managed to include the subject of the protection of ethnic minorities, whose rights are infringed upon, in several resolutions adopted in Geneva.
Russia has refrained from voting on the resolution on human rights in Turkmenia because it received from the Turkmen leaders "an encouraging reaction that our concerns will be examined", said Fedotov. However, he does not rule out that if dialog stalls, the issue may be submitted to the 59th UN General Assembly in the autumn of 2004.
The session did not raise the human rights issue, Fedotov said in reply to one of the numerous questions on this subject, but Moscow hopes that entrusting the UN with key functions in Iraq will also make it possible to ensure an unbiased international monitoring in the field of human rights in these countries.
On the whole, it becomes obvious that the range of problems subject for discussion in the UN commission on human rights is extending. In particular, the problem of terrorism falls within it. Anyway, Russian diplomats have stressed the need to include the provisions that terrorism threatens the basic human right - the right to live - in important international legal documents.