United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress [November 15, 2011]   [open pdf - 379KB]

"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, viewed 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 for the composition of its membership when perceived human rights abusers were elected as members. The General Assembly resolution creating the Council, among other things, increased the number of meetings per year and introduced a 'universal periodic review' process to assess each member state's fulfillment of its human rights obligations. One hundred seventy countries voted in favor of the resolution to create the Council. The United States, under the George W. Bush Administration, was one of four countries to vote against the resolution. The Administration maintained that the Council structure was no better than the Commission and that it lacked mechanisms for maintaining credible membership. […] Because the Council is funded through assessed contributions to the U.N. regular budget, withholding funds in this manner would likely be a symbolic policy action because such contributions finance the entire U.N. regular budget and not specific parts of it. More recently, in the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2010 (Division F, the Department of State Foreign Operations, and Relations Appropriations Act, 2010, of P.L. 111-117), Congress required that the Secretary of State report to Congress on resolutions adopted by the Council."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33608
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Via E-mail
Media Type:
Help with citations