Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he understood the United States' disappointment at not being re-elected to the United Nations' top human rights body, but voiced hope that the country would remain engaged in the UN's work in that field, his spokesman told reporters in New York.
"The Secretary-General believes that the United States made a major contribution to the work of the United Nations in the field of human rights," spokesman Fred Eckhard said. "The United States has played a leading role over the years in drafting landmark documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and has been a key member of the Commission."
Mr. Annan's comments followed the US failure yesterday in Geneva to be re-elected to the UN Commission on Human Rights. This is the first time since the Commission's inception in 1947 that the US has not been a member.