Rolling out the State Department’s latest human rights report, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that, for the first time, the U.S. will submit itself to a process in which its record might be judged by some of the world’s worst human rights abusers. “Human rights are universal, but their experience is local. This is why we are committed to holding everyone to the same standard, including ourselves,” Clinton said, referring to U.S. participation this fall in what’s called the “universal periodic review” process, run by the U.N. Human Rights Council. Critics say the 47-member council, which was established in March 2006 to replace the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, has been hijacked since its inception by human rights violators such as Cuba, China and Egypt. George W. Bush’s administration refused to join, citing the council’s undemocratic makeup and its frequent criticisms of Israel, but the Obama administration reversed that decision last spring. (The Washington Post)

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