UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The United States was on Thursday elected a member of the UN Human Rights Council, following its withdrawal in June 2018.
In a vote at the UN General Assembly, the United States was elected along with 17 other countries for a three-year term beginning on Jan. 1, 2022.
The United States won 168 of the 193 votes. In the same regional group, Finland and Luxembourg won 180 votes respectively.
The United States under the administration of Donald Trump withdrew from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council in June 2018, accusing the council of being a "hypocritical and self-serving organization" and biased against Israel. The U.S. seat was later taken by Iceland in a by-election.
After the election of Joe Biden as U.S. president, Washington declared in February 2021 that it would reengage with the council as an observer. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the U.S. withdrawal in 2018 "did nothing to encourage meaningful change, but instead created a vacuum of U.S. leadership."
The UN Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world. It has 47 members, about a third of which are replaced every year so that the council members serve staggered three-year terms for the sake of continuity.