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New Human Rights Council under consideration at UN

[JURIST] UN ambassadors from Panama and South Africa Thursday circulated a draft compromise resolution in the UN General Assembly [official website] outlining provisions for a UN Human Rights Council [UN backgrounder] to replace the current 53-member Commission on Human Rights [UN backgrounder]. The draft proposes a 45-member body based in Geneva with 12 members from Africa, 13 from Asia, 5 from Eastern Europe, 8 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 7 from Western Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Still undetermined is whether election to the Council will be by a two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly or a simple majority. The US - a longstanding critic of the Commission and proponent of a Council - backs the two-thirds requirement while countries such as Egypt, China, Russia, and Pakistan prefer the simple majority approach [JURIST report]. Council backers are aiming for adoption of a resolution on the new body by February 15. Reuters has more.

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