| UNITED NATIONS
UNITED NATIONS Nov 1 Germany and Brazil
circulated a draft resolution to a U.N. General Assembly
committee on Friday that calls for an end to excessive
electronic surveillance, data collection and other gross
invasions of privacy.
The draft resolution, which both Germany and Brazil made
public, does not name any specific countries, though U.N.
diplomats said it was clearly aimed at the United States, which
has been embarrassed by revelations of a massive international
surveillance program from a former U.S. intelligence contractor.
The German-Brazilian draft would have the 193-nation
assembly declare that it is "deeply concerned at human rights
violations and abuses that may result from the conduct of any
surveillance of communications, including extraterritorial
surveillance of communications."
It would also call on U.N. member states "to take measures
to put an end to violations of these rights and to create the
conditions to prevent such violations, including by ensuring
that relevant national legislation complies with their
obligations under international human rights law."
The resolution will likely undergo changes as it is debated
in the General Assembly's Third Committee, which focuses on
human rights. It is expected to be put to a vote in the
committee later this month and then again in the General
Assembly next month, diplomats said.
Several diplomats said they would be surprised if the
resolution did not receive the support of an overwhelming
majority of U.N. member states.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor
Angela Merkel have both condemned the widespread snooping by the
U.S. National Security Agency. Charges that the NSA accessed
tens of thousands of French phone records and monitored Merkel's
mobile phone have caused outrage in Europe.
General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, unlike
resolutions of the 15-nation Security Council. But assembly
resolutions that enjoy broad international support can carry
significant moral and political weight.
The resolution would urge states "to establish independent
national oversight mechanisms capable of ensuring transparency
and accountability of State surveillance of communications,
their interception and collection of personal data."
It would also call on U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay to
prepare and publish a report "on the protection of the right to
privacy in the context of domestic and extraterritorial,
including massive, surveillance of communications, their
interception and collection of personal data."
Revelations about a massive U.S. surveillance campaign came
from documents leaked to media organizations by former NSA
contractor Edward Snowden. United States has said that it is not
monitoring Merkel's communications and will not do so in the
future, but has not commented on possible past surveillance.
Earlier this week, the United Nations said the United States
has pledged not to spy on the world body's communications after
a report that the NSA had gained access to the U.N. video
(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)