Ecuador’s departure from the UN Human Rights Council is a victory for rights activists in Caracas

Rights activists hail Venezuela’s departure from UN Human Rights Council as a victory

CARACAS, Venezuela — Rights activists in Caracas celebrated on Wednesday the departure of Ecuador from the UN Human Rights Council, saying it is a victory for their cause.

“Ecuador is the first country to officially leave, as it should be, the Council of the United Nations,” said Gustavo Alcalá Galán, national coordinator for Amnesty International in Venezuela. “We hope that other countries will soon follow suit. This is a good day for human rights and a good day for freedom, democracy and the free flow of information.”

The country’s departure from the UN was widely reported — but not necessarily welcomed — as a gesture to the regional bloc, the Organization of American States.

The Council of the United Nations is the main international body that helps the UN in dealing with human rights issues. It is made up a number of UN bodies: the Human Rights Council, the International Commission of Jurists, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Criminal Court, the International Maritime Organization and others.

The Ecuadorian government did not take part in voting to renew or expand the rights council’s rights report, a process that saw the UN adopt the first universal and human rights report in 2012.

“The United Nations is facing a crisis of legitimacy, which we are seeing in various states, both in the Americas and around the world,” said Pablo Ponce, the Colombian coordinator for the Venezuelan-based Caracas-based Human Rights Defense Initiative. “Some governments and organizations feel threatened by the report and ignore its contents, while others use it as a shield to present themselves as the only rights-loving people in the world.”

The United States did not take part in voting to expand or increase the rights council’s rights report”, said Carlos Vera, secretary-general of the Inter-American Press Association.

The Human Rights Council’s members were expected to vote Tuesday, at the end of their month-long

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