Iceland on Friday replaced the United States at the United Nations Human Rights Council, reported AP. The island nation’s term begins immediately and will expire on December 31, 2019.
Iceland was nominated by the group of Western nations and received 172 votes. The other contender, France, received one. A minimum of 97 votes are required.
The Donald Trump administration left the Geneva-based organisation on June 20. The US calling the council “cesspool of political bias”. US envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley claimed the “hypocritical and self-serving” organisation had made a “mockery of human rights”.
Haley cited the council’s “entrenched bias against Israel”, the admission of the Democratic Republic of the Congo into the body though mass graves were discovered there, and the “failure” to address human rights abuses in Venezuela and Iran as reasons for leaving the council.
The US’ move to withdraw came a day after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein criticised the Donald Trump administration for separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents at the US border, calling the policy “unconscionable”.