Albright, Cook hail new U.N. rights plan

April 6, 2005 at 2:36 PM

WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other former senior U.S. and European officials are backing a new U.N. human rights plan.

"United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's proposal to establish a Human Rights Council to replace the U.N. Commission on Human Rights will restore credibility to the U.N. in pursuit of one of its core missions, the promotion and protection of human rights," Albright and the other figures wrote in a letter released Wednesday by the Washington-based Center for American Progress.

The letter was also signed by former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, Morton H. Halperin, the senior vice president of the Center for American Progress,

Lee H. Hamilton, a former U.S. congressman and vice chairman of the Sept. 11 commission, and John D. Podesta, the president and chief executive officer of the Center for American Progress.

"Heads of state (should) immediately endorse the secretary-general's proposal and pave the way for its adoption by the U.N. General Assembly in September," the letter said.

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