After US is re-elected to UN Human Rights Council, John Kerry on Saturday tells council members to end its ‘excessive and biased focus on Israel.’
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday admonished the UN Human Rights Council for what he said was an unfair focus on Israel, the Times of Israel reports.
“While important challenges remain, including ending the Council’s excessive and biased focus on Israel, we look forward to cooperating with other Council members to address human rights concerns, advance human rights around the world, and ensure the Council fully realizes its purpose,” Kerry said after the US was re-elected as a member.
Israel has a permanent spot on the council’s agenda and is a frequent target of criticism there.
In March, Israel’s ambassador to United Nations, Eviatar Manor, criticized the Council’s “obsessive” focus on Israel, arguing that millions around the world who are suffering from human rights violations were being ignored because of the alleged fixation. This risked making the institution irrelevant and illegitimate, said Manor.
On Friday, Russia failed to win re-election in a vote rights groups said reflected international disapproval of Moscow’s involvement in the war in Syria.
The UN General Assembly elected Hungary and Croatia instead to represent eastern Europe at the 47-nation council, which monitors and investigates rights violations worldwide.
Saudi Arabia, which was re-elected with 152 votes, was almost guaranteed to retain its seat as part of a clean slate of four countries vying for four regional seats.
China, which has been criticized for its rights abuses, was also re-elected, while Cuba and Egypt, also cited for their dubious rights records at home, won seats as well.
Croatia, Iraq and Rwanda were elected for the first time.
The other elected members were Brazil, Britain, Japan, South Africa, Tunisia and the United States.
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