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UN rights commission holds last session

[JURIST] The last meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights [official website] took place in Geneva Monday, as its replacement prepares to hold its first session on June 19. The UN Human Rights Council [JURIST news archive; UN backgrounder] was brought into being by a General Assembly resolution [text] earlier this month after five months of negotiations following the UN World Summit. The Commission, created in 1946, had been sharply criticized for allowing countries with continued human rights violations to win seats and protect each other from inquiries.

While originally inspired by the United States, the new Council faced objections [JURIST report] from the United States [official statement], Israel, the Marshall Islands, and Palau for not taking enough measures to prevent abusive countries from becoming members. US Ambassador Kevin Moley told the Associated Press, "The good news is that the commission is over. The bad news is that what replaces it isn't much better." The US has not announced whether it will seek election to the council. AP has more.

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