Wednesday, May 6, 2015Wednesday, May 6, 2015

US on edge over Human Rights Council election

Published on Nov 11, 2012 10:00 AM

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - The United States has launched a last-minute scramble for votes to secure its spot on the UN Human Rights Council in an election on Monday.

US diplomats are said to be "nervous" as they compete with Germany, Greece, Ireland and Sweden for three seats among 18 on the panel to be picked by the United Nations General Assembly.

The 47-member council has taken on a steadily higher profile since it was created six years ago, but the Western nations group is the only one that will hold a competitive poll for seats.

In the run-up to the election, rights groups criticised the behind-closed-doors deals by Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe that will see countries such as Pakistan, Venezuela and Ethiopia guaranteed seats. Russia, China and Cuba, often taken to task for their rights records, will leave the council at the end of the year.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!