UN committee slaps Syria, Iran, N.Korea, Myanmar for rights abuses

UNITED NATIONS - A UN General Assembly committee on Tuesday condemned Syria for widespread human rights abuses and expressed concern about such violations in Iran, North Korea and Myanmar, but also welcomed pledges by Iran and Myanmar's presidents to improve some areas.
The draft resolution on Iran was approved with 83 votes in favor, 36 against and 62 abstentions; the draft on Syria was adopted with 123 votes in favor, 13 against and 46 abstentions; while the drafts on North Korea and Myanmar passed by consensus, although some states disassociated themselves with the texts.
The draft resolutions were approved by the 193-nation assembly's Third Committee, which focuses on human rights, and will be put to formal votes next month in the General Assembly. They are expected to pass with similar support.
The resolutions on these four countries have become an annual rite. They deepen international pressure and further isolate those states but have no legal consequences. All four countries lobby hard against the adoption of the resolutions.
While the draft resolution on Iran expressed concern at serious ongoing abuses, it also welcomed pledges by Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani on human rights issues such as eliminating discrimination against women and members of ethnic minorities and promoting freedom of expression and opinion.
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