March 12, 2020 / 12:03 PM / 17 days ago

U.N. rights body suspending session a week early due to virus - statement

GENEVA, March 12 (Reuters) - The United Nations Human Rights Council has decided to suspend its main annual four-week session from Friday, ending a week early, due to coronavirus, a statement said on Thursday.

The decision came a day after Geneva authorities said that public meetings in the Swiss city should be limited to 100 people and the World Health Organization (WHO) used pandemic for the first time to characterise the outbreak.

Austria’s Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisselberger, president of the 47-member forum, said its bureau had taken into account the latest WHO assessment and “concluded that under the current circumstances, an orderly suspension of the session by the end of this week would be the best approach to follow”. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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