Suzanne Nossel writes about the problems behind forming the new effective Human Rights Council and the chances for Belarus to get a seat in it despite its abuse record at Huffington Post: One of the key, and most hotly contested, elements distinguishing the Council from its disesteemed predecessor was to have been its composition. Whereas the Commission was traditionally dominated by some of the world’s worst human rights offenders (think Zimbabwe, Sudan, Cuba, Libya, etc.), the Council was supposed to be different. The U.S., EU, the UN Secretary General and others wanted to bar nations with egregious human rights records from participating in the Council. The idea was to prevent these states from shielding themselves from the Council’s scrutiny, or simply trying turn the spotlight elsewhere.
…When the UN membership goes to the polls on Wednesday, however, they will have a chance to signal - by keeping Belarus off the Council - that the new body is capable of more than just business as usual.