UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is seen on a TV screen while addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 27, 2017 in Geneva./ AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI
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The U.S. claimed its seat Monday on the Human Rights Council under the new presidency of Donald Trump, whose election has provoked deep concern over the body's future.The 47-member panel has had successes – thanks to support from Barack Obama's administration which held a seat on the council for most of his eight-year term, civil society groups say.Assuming the U.S. keeps its seat, there is "significant concern" about Washington's capacity to take a leadership role based on Trump's early moves, according to Fisher.The precursor to the rights council was the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, a body deemed so dysfunctional that former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan scrapped it.When the new council was born in 2006, the U.S. administration of George W. Bush did not fight for a seat or meaningfully engage, according to a January report from the Council on Foreign Relations think tank.
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