UN to confer top human rights award on Benazir

Wednesday, November 26, 2008
By our correspondent

WASHINGTON: The United Nations has decided to confer its top human rights award posthumously on former prime minister Benazir Bhutto for promoting democracy and fundamental freedoms in Pakistan, informed sources at the UN Headquarters said on Tuesday.

The award will be announced on December 10, the UN human Rights Day. The occasion also marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.The sources said President of the UN General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann would officially communicate the decision to President Asif Ali Zardari in the next few days.

Instituted in 1968, the United Nations human rights awards are intended to “honour and commend people and organisations which have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of the human rights embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in other United Nations human rights instruments”.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will present the award — a metal plaque bearing the

UN seal and an artistic design, and engraved with an appropriate citation — at a headquarter ceremony in New York on Dec 10.

The recipients are selected by a special committee comprising the presidents of the General

Assembly and the Economic and Social Council and the chairs of the Commission on Human Rights, the Commission on the Status of Women, and the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. (The News)