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UN member states seeking seats on new Human Rights Council

[JURIST] United Nations member states have begun announcing their candidacies for membership on the newly-formed Human Rights Council [official website; UN materials; FAQ] in preparations for elections scheduled May 9. The UN General Assembly [official website] approved the creation of the new rights body last month to replace the widely criticized Commission on Human Rights [official website]. According to the list of candidates [official website] available from the General Assembly Wednesday morning, 32 member states have so far announced their candidacies, including Iran [CNS report]. In opposing [JURIST report] the resolution [JURIST document] creating the Human Rights Council, the United States expressed concern that there were inadequate checks to ensure that countries, such as Iran, that have not demonstrated a commitment to human rights would be able to win seats on the Council.

US officials have not decided whether to seek a spot on the 47-member rights body, though US Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist [official website] has introduced a resolution [PDF text; press release] opposing US participation on the panel and other US support of the Council. UPI has more.

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