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U.S. Will Not Seek Seat On New UN Human Rights Council

Louise Arbour (left), UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Peruvian Ambassador Manuel Rodriguez-Cuadros, President of the 62nd Commission on Human Rights (file photo) (epa) April 6, 2006 -- The United States has decided not to seek a seat on the newly created United Nations Human Rights Council.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States would not seek election to the council in a vote planned for in May, but would likely run next year.

The new council replaces the discredited Human Rights Commission, which lost support because too many of its members were themselves accused of serious human rights abuses.

It was not immediately clear why the United States has chosen not to take part, though it has been critical of the new council for not going far enough in reforming the commission.

(Reuters, AP)