"In the past 40 years these various procedures and outputs of the United Nations Human Rights Treaty System (UNHRTS) have gradually become sophisticated, developed and strengthened. It has made contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights. Despite its achievements, however, it also faces serious challenges and weaknesses, which induces some insider commentators to evaluate it as 'a system in crisis' and to criticise the whole system as one that urgently needs 'a complete overhaul'. From time to time, several proposals were made to improve the situation. However, the underlying problems persisted. Thus further and radical calls for re-organisation of the monitoring mechanism of the UNHRTS into a Unified and Standing Treaty Monitoring Body (USTMB) was made very recently. A further call for consolidation was made more explicit subsequently. In March 2006 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) has issued a Concept Paper proposing to consolidate the current treaty monitoring bodies (TMBs) into a USTMB in an attempt to address the persistent problems the UNHTRS monitoring mechanism has been facing. A proposal regarded as too radical by many insiders of the UNHRTS. In view of the serious weaknesses of the UNHRTS monitoring mechanism, the initiated reform is a positive step. However, in seeking to introduce reform, and particularly within the UNHRTS, great caution is important not to throw the baby with water in the reform process. There is real concern about squandering, in the name of reform, the progress achieved over the last decades. In order to introduce an effective reform, it is important to be aware of [what] has worked and what has not, and make strategic choices based on these insights. In view of the proposed USTMB as a solution to the weakness of the system, balancing the reform initiative so that it will inherit the positive legacies while redressing the weakness is, therefore, a major contemporary concern." -- Introduction.
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2006.
Prepared under the supervision of Mr. E.Y. Benneh at the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
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