Why the UN Human Rights Council Still Matters — Even With Venezuela

By Bruno Stagno Ugarte

Human rights abusers' efforts to gain seats on the UN body prove its relevance.

Multilateralism is under attack, and the United Nations Human Rights Council is one body that is frequently criticized for not living up to either its name or mandate. Having states that commit serial human rights abuses elected to the 47-member Council—and there are several—certainly weakens the Council. Despite the bad press, however, the Council remains an effective venue and voice for accountability for the most pressing human rights crises.

The October 17 election of Venezuela to the Council has brought to the fore the travesty of having a government that is currently the worst...

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