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Canada, EU urge US compromise on UN rights council

[JURIST] Canada, the European Union, and several key supporters of a proposed UN Human Rights Council [JURIST news archive] are urging the United States to accept a compromise that would allow approval of a draft UN General Assembly resolution [PDF] while offering the US assurances that they hope will address American concerns about possible rights-abusing nations being elected to the new body, designed to replace the problematic UN Commission on Human Rights [JURIST report]. Canadian UN ambassador Alan Rock said that states were being encouraged to sign a letter to the US declaring their intent not to elect any such states to the body, or to at least make a statement to that effect after what is hoped to be an adoption of the Council's empowering resolution by consensus.

General Assembly President Jan Eliasson [official profile] introduced a draft resolution on the Council in late February after lengthy multilateral negotiations. The US opposed [JURIST report] the draft and is pushing for the UN to reopen negotiations. US members want council members to be elected by a 2/3 vote, not by a simple majority, the current requirement for Commission membership. They also want the text to bar any country that faces UN sanctions from joining the council. AP has more.

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