November 12, 2012 – New York – AJC welcomed today’s reelection of the United States to the UN Human Rights Council.
The U.S., which returned to the UN human rights body three years ago, won the rotating seat in a competitive race against several other Western countries. There were five nations vying for three seats.
“It is a credit to American diplomacy that the U.S. received the most votes among the five candidate countries,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “That said, while the Council has done good work in condemning the gross human rights violations in Syria and Iran, its overall mission is severely undermined by its shockingly disproportionate focus on Israel. The obsession includes a separate agenda item for Israel, while all other countries in the world fall under another agenda item. That must change, and we look to American leadership to help bring it about at long last.”
The U.S. decision to return to the 47-member Council in 2009 raised expectations that leadership on reforming the deeply flawed body would be forthcoming. The Council was created in March 2006 to replace the discredited UN Commission on Human Rights.
“The path to real reform of the UN Human Rights Council is arduous but essential,” said Harris. “True victims of human rights violations have been robbed of the one international body meant to address their concerns. Those victims most assuredly deserve better.”
AJC has an affiliate in Geneva, UN Watch, which monitors the Council’s compliance with the UN Charter.