US to run for seat on UN Human Rights Council

April 1st, 2009 - 7:18 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, April 1 (DPA) The US Tuesday said it will join the UN Human Rights Council, a body that was derided by former president George W. Bush as politicized and ineffective.
The decision was part of President Barack Obama’s call for a “new era of engagement” with the global community, the State Department said. The US will still be seeking changes to the council from within.

“With others, we will engage in the work of improving the UN human rights system to advance the vision of the UN Declaration of Human Rights,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

The US will run for the 47-member council at the next elections in May. The Bush administration never joined the body, which was created in 2006, out of protest that authoritarian states with poor human rights records were also allowed to become members.

Susan Rice, the United States’ ambassador to the UN, said that a seat on the council would give Washington a stronger voice to push for changes in the body.

“Those who suffer from abuse and oppression around the world, as well as those who dedicate their lives to advancing human rights, need the council to be balanced and credible,” Rice said in a statement.

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