"On March 15, 2006, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution replacing the Commission on Human Rights with a new Human Rights Council (the Council). The U.N. Secretariat and some governments, including the United States, view the establishment of the Council as a key component of comprehensive U.N. reform. The Council was designed to be an improvement over the Commission, which was widely criticized over the composition of its membership when perceived human rights abusers were elected as members. The General Assembly resolution creating the Council, among other things, increases the number of meetings per year; reduces the number of Council seats from 53 to 47; and introduces a 'universal periodic review' by the Council to assess each Member State's fulfillment of its human rights obligations and commitments. Council members are elected to a three-year term by an absolute majority in the U.N. General Assembly."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33608