From the Washington Post:
The United States came under pressure from key human rights groups to accept a compromise proposal to replace the discredited U.N. Human Rights Commission with a new Human Rights Council. Ten advocacy groups sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday urging the United States to support the proposal. They called it "a concrete step in the right direction," even though it wasn't as strong as they had hoped, and warned that trying to change it "will not lead to a better result." The letter was in response to comments from U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, who questioned whether the draft resolution would keep human rights abusers off the new council _ a key U.S. goal _ and raised the possibility of new negotiations.
The Geneva-based Human Rights Commission has been widely criticized by Western governments and human rights campaigners for allowing some of the worst-offending countries to use their membership to protect each other from condemnation or criticize others. In recent years, members have included Sudan, Libya, Zimbabwe and Cuba.
But replacing the commission, an idea first recommended by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in March 2005, has divided the 191-member U.N. General Assembly and sparked months of contentious negotiations.
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