Writing in the daily newspaper "The Wall Street Journal Asia," Annan said safeguards would make it hard for rights violators to win election to the council.
The Human Rights Council replaces the former Human Rights Commission, which was strongly criticized for allowing countries with poor human rights records to join as members. Members of the new council will be directed elected by a majority of the UN General Assembly.
The General Assembly voted to form the new council earlier this month over the objections of the United States. The United States argued the council would not go far enough in barring rights abusers from membership.