Created in 2006 with the aim of “strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe,” the UN Human Rights Council may soon be joined by a new member. This week, the Obama Administration announced that it would seek a seat on the council.
The Bush Administration refused to join the Council since its inception, balking at the reference to protection of economic, social and cultural rights and citing the human rights records of member states.
On Tuesday, March 31, the Obama administration officially decided to join the UN Human Rights Council. The US will participate in elections in May for one of the three seats on the council. Countries like New Zealand have stepped aside in order to help the US secure a spot.
Obama’s decision may signal an increased willingness to engage with the international community on issues of human rights. What do you all think?
*Photo Credit: OHCHR Website