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U.N. Ignores U.S., Approves Human Rights Council 170-4

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060315/ap_on_re_us/un_human_rights U.N. Ignores U.S., Approves Council 170-4 By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer 21
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 15 10:12 AM
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060315/ap_on_re_us/un_human_rights

      U.N. Ignores U.S., Approves Council 170-4

      By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer 21
      minutes ago

      UNITED NATIONS - U.N. member states ignored U.S.
      opposition and overwhelmingly approved a new Human
      Rights Council on Wednesday, attempting to strengthen
      the world body's machinery to deal with major human
      rights offenders.

      The vote in the 191-member General Assembly was 170 in
      favor, 4 against, and 3 abstentions.

      The Bush administration refused to back the new
      council, saying it was not the radical reform
      Washington wanted to ensure that countries like Cuba,
      Sudan, Myanmar and Zimbabwe — known as rights abusers
      — are barred from membership.

      But U.S. officials said Washington nonetheless will
      give its financial backing and seek a seat on the new
      council.

      A year ago, Secretary-General
      Kofi Annan proposed replacing the widely criticized
      and highly politicized U.N. Human Rights Commission,
      which has allowed some of the worst-offending
      countries to use their membership to protect one
      another from condemnation or to criticize others.

      Under the resolution adopted Wednesday, the commission
      will be abolished June 16 and the new council will
      convene three days later.

      The resolution was drafted by General Assembly
      President Jan Eliasson after months of contentious
      negotiations. He said it did not give any country
      everything it wanted but would strengthen human rights
      protections and toughen the criteria for council membership.
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