US rejoins UN Human Rights Council after 2018 walkout

FILE PHOTO: United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attend a session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on February 24, 2020. (Reuters)

United States quit the UN rights body in 2018 under former president Donald Trump, who accused it of hypocrisy and obsession with haranguing Israel.

The United States has returned to the UN Human Rights Council, three-and-a-half years after its dramatic walk-out – time seized upon by China to assert wider influence.

The United Nations General Assembly elected 18 new members of the UN’s top rights body, with countries kicking off their three-year council term from January 1.

Though member states were chosen in a secret ballot, the election was a non-contest, with 18 candidate countries standing for 18 seats.

Beyond the United States, the other states elected are: Argentina, Benin, Cameroon, Eritrea, Finland, Gambia, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Montenegro, Paraguay, Qatar, Somalia and the United Arab Emirates.

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