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US senator urges suspension of UN rights council funding

[JURIST] US Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) [official website] Wednesday urged members of Congress to adopt legislation suspending the United States' annual $3 million contribution to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website; JURIST news archive]. Coleman said that the UNHRC's focus on Israel and failure to address alleged human rights abuses in countries like North Korea, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe [JURIST news archives] resembles the body it was intended to replace, the UN Commission on Human Rights [UN backgrounder].

The Senate is currently considering Coleman's bill [S 1698 text, PDF] to suspend UNHRC funding. Meanwhile, Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) [official website] has introduced in the House of Representatives a UN reform bill [HR 2712 text, PDF] that faults the UNHRC for passing nine resolutions censoring Israel during its first year of operation while taking no similar actions against other states like Belarus, China, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan. The UNHRC was established in March 2006 [JURIST report] to replace the UN Human Rights Commission, which was also criticized for allowing states with poor human rights records to become members. AP has more.

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