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Fear Not the Universal Periodic Review

Ever since the United States submitted its first Universal Periodic Review report to the UN Human Rights Council a meme has been percolating, mostly on the right, that the Obama administration is trying to use the UN to undermine Arizona's controversial law that allows it to detain suspected illegal immigrants.  We can thank Arizona governor Jan Brewer for this--she sent an angry letter to Secretary Clinton,

Human Rights Council Elections (Update)

The General Assembly will vote for the newest members of the UN Human Rights Council today.  Here's the slate of candidates:


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State Department Touts Progress at the UN Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council has made “incremental, but notable” progress since the United States joined the body last July according to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations Suzanne Nossel. Her remarks come as the council concluded its most recent meeting, which was the second formal council session in which the United States participated as a full fledged member.

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North Korea Comes Under Criticism at The Human Rights Council

In Geneva this afternoon the Human Rights Council adopted a sharply worded resolution condemning human rights abuses in North Korea.  The resolution passed 28 to 5, with 13 abstentions.  China and Russia were among the five, but the vote showed that the Hermit Kingdom is becoming increasingly isolated on the international stage. Compared to previous years, Brazil and Djibouti switched from abstaining to voting with the majority, and Nigeria switched from a "no" vote to abstaining.

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General Assembly debates dueling Goldstone Report proposals

The General Assembly will take up the Goldstone Report in a session tomorrow.  There are two competing resolutions circulating.  The first (below) is drafted by Arab states and calls for the Secretary General to transmit the report to the Security Council.  The EU, lead by France and Germany, are trying to prevent that outcome by inserting language in the resolution that calls on both the Palestinians and Israeli's to pursue internal investigation into alleged war crimes, the credibility of which would be verified by the High Commissioner for Human Rights before a future Huma

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Human Rights Council endorses Goldstone Report

The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution endorsing the Goldstone Report, which found evidence suggesting that the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas may have committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead last winter (but reserves its harshest criticisms for Israel.)  The report was discussed at the council for a vote for the first time earlier this month, but the Palestinians (under heavy pressure from the United States) opted to defer a vote on the resolution until the Council met again