US rejects proposed UN Human Rights Council reform

US rejects proposed UN Human Rights Council reform

[JURIST] The US vowed Monday to reject a proposal to establish a UN Human Rights Council [JURIST report] presented by UN General Assembly President Jan Eliasson [UN profile] last week. In remarks at a brief press conference [text], US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton [official profile] said the US was "very disappointed" with the proposal and urged Eliasson to either reopen negotiations or delay consideration of the change for months, both options which could provide the US with heavy influence over the outcome. Under a third option available to Eliasson, going ahead with a vote this week as planned, the US would have only one of 191 votes in the General Assembly, and Bolton said that in that scenario the US would vote no.

The US has strongly endorsed [JURIST report] reform of the current 53-member Commission on Human Rights [UN backgrounder], but supports a smaller commission than the 47-member body proposed and wants to remove certain members with poor human rights records. Reuters has more.