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US to seek seat on UN Human Rights Council

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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:13 PM
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US to seek seat on UN Human Rights Council
31/03/09

The United States will seek election to the U.N. Human Rights Council this year, the State Department said Tuesday, announcing the Obama administration's latest reversal of former President George W. Bush's foreign policies.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said in a statement that the administration will join the council to help make it more effective as part of President Barack Obama's desire to create a "new era of engagement" with the international community.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hiE1u...
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:22 PM
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1. statements
"Human rights are an essential element of American global foreign policy," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement. "With others, we will engage in the work of improving the U.N. human rights system. . . . We believe every nation must live by and help shape global rules that ensure people enjoy the right to live freely and participate fully in their societies."

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said: "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." She said the United States seeks election to the body "because we believe that working from within, we can make the council a more effective forum to promote and protect human rights."

The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the U.N. system made up of 47 elected members whose mission is to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights globally. The next round of elections to the council will be held May 15 in the U.N. General Assembly in New York, with members elected to three-year terms. The council is scheduled to undergo a formal review of its structure and procedures in 2011, offering an opportunity for reform.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-31-09 11:25 PM
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-01-09 10:56 AM
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3.  Fresh from the State Department:
Edited on Wed Apr-01-09 11:24 AM by bigtree
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/03/121049.htm


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice announce that the United States will seek a seat this year on the United Nations Human Rights Council with the goal of working to make it a more effective body to promote and protect human rights.

The decision is in keeping with the Obama Administration's "new era of engagement" with other nations to advance American security interests and meet the global challenges of the 21st century.

Human rights are an essential element of American global foreign policy said Secretary Clinton. With others, we will engage in the work of improving the UN human rights system to advance the vision of the UN Declaration on Human Rights. The United States helped to found the United Nations and retains a vital stake in advancing that organization's genuine commitment to the human rights values that we share with other member nations. We believe every nation must live by and help shape global rules that ensure people enjoy the right to live freely and participate fully in their societies.

The big question is whether or not the United States will run in a contested election. There are three open seats on the council reserved for the Western Europe and Other Group if which the United States belongs. Norway, Belgium, and New Zealand are already announced candidates for the May 15 elections. With the United States running, will one of these countries pull out? (Perhaps, say, New Zealand, which was just rewarded with the head of the UN Development Program?) I sure hope not. Competitive elections are good for the system. Uncompetitive elections are how countries with less than stellar human rights records sometimes make it on the council. In all, though, this is a good move by the United States. It is much easier to guide the work of these sorts of forums as a participant on the inside than a critic from the outside.
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