Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • Second black box found at Air Algérie crash site in Mali

    Read more

  • Limited 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect in Gaza

    Read more

  • US evacuates embassy in Libya amid militia clashes

    Read more

  • Kerry in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • French PM calls for calm ahead of banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Nibali rides serenely toward a place in Tour history

    Read more

  • Video: 'Lack of security' at MH17 crash site, FRANCE 24 reports

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

Americas

Reversing Bush policy, US seeks UN Human Rights Council seat

Latest update : 2009-04-01

US President Barack Obama’s administration has decided to seek a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, reversing a Bush administration policy. The next round of Council elections will be held on May 15th.

AFP - US President Barack Obama's administration announced Tuesday it will run in May for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council -- a body the Bush administration shunned.
   
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is traveling in Europe, and the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said the United States will seek a seat on the body to help reform it from within, according to the State Department.
   
US critics and the administration of former president George W. Bush have charged that the Geneva-based body routinely demonizes Israel but ignores human rights abuses in other parts of the globe.
   
Gordon Duguid, a department spokesman, said the new administration took the decision as part of efforts to re-engage with the world community -- which had charged that the Bush administration acted on its own and even illegally.
   
"Human rights are an essential element of American global foreign policy," Clinton was quoted as saying.
   
"With others, we will engage in the work of improving the UN human rights system to advance the vision of the UN Declaration on Human Rights," the chief US diplomat said.
   
"The United States helped to found the United Nations and retains a vital stake in advancing that organization's genuine commitment to the human rights values that we share with other member nations," she said.
   
"We believe every nation must live by and help shape global rules that ensure people enjoy the right to live freely and participate fully in their societies," she was quoted as saying.
   
Both Clinton and Rice alluded to past criticism of the body when they talked about making it more effective.
   
"Those who suffer from abuse and oppression around the world, as well as those who dedicate their lives to advancing human rights, need the Council to be balanced and credible," Rice was quoted as saying.  
   
"The US is seeking election to the council because we believe that working from within, we can make the council a more effective forum to promote and protect human rights," said the permanent US representative to the UN.
   
The State Department said 47 elected members sit on the inter-governmental body which is tasked with promoting and protecting human rights worldwide.
   
The next round of elections to the Council will be held on May 15th in the UN General Assembly in New York when members will be elected to a three-year term.  
   
The council faces a formal review of its structure and procedures in 2011, which the State Department sid will "offer a significant opportunity for council reform."
   
Former president George W. Bush's administration opposed the council after it was set up in March 2006 and refused to be a member.
   
The Bush administration asserted the body had lost credibility because of its repeated criticism of Israel and what it called a failure to confront major rights abusers.
   
But critics abroad said the United States, during Bush's term in office, had lost credibility on human rights over alleged torture of terrorism suspects in the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in Iraq.

Date created : 2009-04-01

COMMENT(S)