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Obama Administration Lauds U.N. Human Rights Council Despite Venezuela Winning Membership

- November 13, 2012

The Controversial Human Rights Council Admitted Several Human Rights Abusers Monday, Including Venezuela

Venezuela Gained Membership To The U.N. Human Rights Council On Monday. "On Friday, UN Watch and the Human Rights Foundation had invited activists from Venezuela, Pakistan and Kazakhstan to speak about human rights violations. The three countries all gained council membership on Monday, even though the two groups judged them 'not qualified' to serve, based on an examination (PDF) of their domestic rights protections and their voting record at the United Nations." (Elias E. Lopez, "Voting For U.N. Rights Council Puts Focus On Records Of Panel's Member States," The New York Times ' The Lede , 11/12/12)

U.S. Ambassador To The U.N. Susan Rice: "I'm Proud To Say That, Today, The Obama Administration's Leadership Of The Human Rights Council Has Delivered Real Results." "U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said her country was 'pleased and proud to have been re-elected to a second three-year term.' 'I'm proud to say that, today, the Obama administration's leadership of the Human Rights Council has delivered real results. Today's vote affirms that active U.S. leadership in the Human Rights Council and throughout the United Nations system will continue to pay real dividends for Americans and for the rest of the world,' Rice said following the vote." (Michael Astor, "US Re-Elected To UN Human Rights Council Seat," The Associated Press , 11/12/12)

In 2009, Obama Chose To Join The U.N. Human Rights Council Despite Its Record Of Targeting Israel While Paying Little Attention To Other Human Rights Abusers

In March 2009, Obama Announced The U.S. Would Seek A Seat On The U.N. Human Rights Council. "The Obama administration decided Tuesday to seek a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, reversing a decision by the Bush administration to shun the United Nations' premier rights body to protest the influence of repressive states." (Colum Lynch, "U.S. To Join U.N. Human Rights Council, Reversing Bush Policy," The Washington Post, 3/31/09)

  • "The United States Won A Seat On The U.N. Human Rights Council For The First Time Tuesday Along With Four Countries Accused Of Serious Human Rights Violations - Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China And Russia." ("U.S. Wins First Seat On U.N. Rights Council," The Associated Press, 5/12/09)
  • "The Geneva-Based Human Rights Council Was Established In March 2006 To Replace The 60-Year-Old Human Rights Commission, Which Lost International Credibility After Countries With Abysmal Rights Records, Such As Sudan And Zimbabwe, Were Allowed To Join And Thwart Criticism Of Their Actions." (Colum Lynch, "U.S. To Join U.N. Human Rights Council, Reversing Bush Policy," The Washington Post, 3/31/09)

The Obama Administration Joined The Council Despite Admitting That The Human Rights Council Focused Too Heavily On Israel While Paying Little Attention To Abuses Elsewhere. "The Obama administration and rights advocates concede that the Human Rights Council has failed to emerge as a powerful champion of human rights, saying it has devoted excessive attention to alleged abuses by Israel and too little to abuses in places such as Darfur, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe." (Colum Lynch, "U.S. To Join U.N. Human Rights Council, Reversing Bush Policy," The Washington Post, 3/31/09)

  • As Of 2009, The Council Has Spent Most Of Its Time Looking Into Israel's Actions. "The council is dominated by African and Asian countries, who have blocked criticism of allies such as Zimbabwe, Sudan and Sri Lanka while passing a series of resolutions critical of Israel's treatment of Palestinians. Since its creation three years ago, the council has held five urgent meetings on Israel alone. There have been only four such meetings on other country-specific situations, including Myanmar, Darfur, Sri Lanka and Congo." (Eliane Engeller, "US Joins UN Rights Council As Member For 1st Time", The Associated Press, 9/14/09)

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