Posted on | November 13, 2012 by Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. |
Just elected or re-elected to the 47-member Human Rights Council are the US, Germany, Ireland, Argentina, Brazil, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Montenegro, Pakistan, South Korea, Sierra Leone, the United Arab Emirates, and Estonia.
The US received 131 votes from the 193 UN member states for its second 3-year term on the body. During its last term, the US used its position to promote homosexual rights and the campaign to recognize abortion as a human right through HRC’s annual resolution on maternal mortality, which was initiated in 2009, the year the US joined the council.
Jamil Dakwar, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Human Rights Program, was quoted in the Huffington Post as welcoming the US re-election: “Despite an imperfect human rights record, U.S. membership on the council helped turn the tide on key issues, especially in the area of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) rights, freedom of speech and association, and women’s rights.”
US UN Ambassador Susan Rice read a statement dismissing concerns that many of its fellow council members had abysmal human rights records, saying, “The United States is clearly of the view that the Human Rights Council clearly has its flaws … including its excessive focus on Israel, but it is also a body that is increasingly proving its value and we’ve been proud to contribute to some of what we think are some of the finer moments of the Human Rights Council it’s approach to Syria, it’s approach to Sudan, it’s approach he situation in Libya with the commission of inquiry.”