UN to appoint world human rights watchdog

After more than 40 years of debate the United Nations is expected next week to approve unanimously a special high-level post to watch over human rights around the world, Peter Pringle reports from New York. The appointment would overturn objections from the UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who says the post would add needlessly to an already bloated UN bureaucracy.

The proposed commissioner would have the power to intervene where basic freedoms are being abused and, it is hoped, shame the offending country into mending its ways by publicising the violations.