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C�wealth debates over HR Commissioner

By The Assam Tribune

PERTH, Oct 28 � Commonwealth member states were today engaged in a heated debate on the issue of setting up a human rights commissioner for the 54-nation body, with a majority of them favouring �further examination� of the suggestion.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), thrown open amid tight security by Queen Elizabeth II with a call for �positive and enduring results, agreed to add muscle to its ministerial action group to deal with the member nations veering towards violation of human rights.

However, Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma made it clear that he cannot pre-judge the outcome of the CHOGM which is set to discuss the report of the 11-member Eminent Persons Group (EPG), which suggested a human rights monitor for the grouping as one of its 106 recommendations to improve the organisation.

�The EPG report will be discussed by the leaders at their retreat tomorrow. We cannot pre-judge its outcome,� was the refrain of Sharma and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard who briefed the media on today�s deliberations.

All the 30 recommendations to strengthen the role of the organisation made by the Commonwealth Ministers Action Group (CMAG) have been accepted, Gillard said.

She said the decision to strengthen the CMAG by empowering it to engage member nations moving towards serious violation of human rights was motivated by the undemocratic overthrow of the Fijian government in a coup in 2006. Fiji has been suspended from the Commonwealth since 2009.

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C�wealth debates over HR Commissioner

PERTH, Oct 28 � Commonwealth member states were today engaged in a heated debate on the issue of setting up a human rights commissioner for the 54-nation body, with a majority of them favouring �further examination� of the suggestion.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), thrown open amid tight security by Queen Elizabeth II with a call for �positive and enduring results, agreed to add muscle to its ministerial action group to deal with the member nations veering towards violation of human rights.

However, Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma made it clear that he cannot pre-judge the outcome of the CHOGM which is set to discuss the report of the 11-member Eminent Persons Group (EPG), which suggested a human rights monitor for the grouping as one of its 106 recommendations to improve the organisation.

�The EPG report will be discussed by the leaders at their retreat tomorrow. We cannot pre-judge its outcome,� was the refrain of Sharma and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard who briefed the media on today�s deliberations.

All the 30 recommendations to strengthen the role of the organisation made by the Commonwealth Ministers Action Group (CMAG) have been accepted, Gillard said.

She said the decision to strengthen the CMAG by empowering it to engage member nations moving towards serious violation of human rights was motivated by the undemocratic overthrow of the Fijian government in a coup in 2006. Fiji has been suspended from the Commonwealth since 2009.