*. October 14. Today Nation News. The UN General Assembly on Thursday elected the United States to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, more than three years after the Trump administration withdrew from 47 members. Writes about it Today Nation News with reference to the statement of the State Department.
The United States, which met no resistance, won 168 votes in a secret ballot in the 193-member General Assembly. Its three-year term will begin on January 1 – Washington is opposed to Beijing and Moscow, which began work in the Rada this year.
US President Joe Biden, who took office in January, has pledged that human rights will be at the center of his foreign policy, and his administration is not shying away from criticizing China over Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan and calling on Russia.
The General Assembly also elected Kazakhstan, Gambia, Benin, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Paraguay, Honduras, Luxembourg, Finland, Montenegro and Lithuania to the Council and re-elected Cameroon, Eritrea, Somalia, India and Argentina.
The United States came in second in terms of votes, beating only Eritrea with 144 votes.
In 2018, Donald Trump, who was at that time in the presidency of the United States, announced the state‘s withdrawal from the Human Rights Council due to criticism of Israel. The US administration then pointed out that the UN HRC adopted more than 70 resolutions criticizing Israel and only 7 – with criticism of Iran, emphasizing that there are extremely gross violations of human rights in Iran, remain without a response from the UN HRC. In addition, Washington then opposed the membership in the Council of a number of countries – such as China, Cuba, Venezuela, which Western countries accuse of human rights violations.
The decision to create the UN Human Rights Council to replace the Commission of the same name was made at the UN summit in 2005. It is an organ of the UN General Assembly. It meets regularly, at least three times a year. One of the sessions is the main one and lasts ten weeks. The Council may hold special emergency sessions at the request of one third of its members, including to address alarming human rights situations in individual countries.
The Human Rights Council consists of 47 states. The group of Eastern European states has six seats in this body. In Asia and Africa – 13 places each, in Latin America – eight and in the group uniting Western European states, the USA, Canada and Israel – seven places.
Each member of the Council is elected by a majority vote of the members of the General Assembly by direct secret ballot. Council members must uphold high standards of human rights protection. If they are caught in a massive and systematic violation of human rights, then their membership in the Council can be suspended by a two-thirds majority of the UN General Assembly members.