13 May 2009

US elected to Human Rights Council

8:19 am on 13 May 2009

The United States has been elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the first time.

The council was shunned by the Bush administration, which accused it of admitting states with poor rights records and having an anti-Israel bias.

The new administration announced in March that it would seek to join the council as part of a broader strategy to create a new era of engagement with the rest of the world.

The United States was one of 18 countries elected to places on the 47-seat Geneva-based council in a vote by the UN General Assembly.

It received 167 votes, far more than the 97 votes needed in the secret ballot.