Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Rational Heads Prevail: Congo to Lead African Union

Just a day after the U.S. and other Western states expressed concern about the possibility of Sudan chairing the African Union, the AU elected Congo to the chair for a year. (See Julian's post.) The compromise allows Sudan to take the chair next year, which doesn't solve the problem, but at least kicks the can down the road for a while. It also allows the AU to continue playing the lead peacekeeping role in Darfur and act as sponsor for the peace process there.

This last-minute change may demonstrate that, despite protocols and gentleman's agreements, states are capable of acting on the underlying merits when it comes to chairing international organizations. Let's see if there is a lesson in there for a Human Rights Council.

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