Iceland elected to fill UN HRC seat vacated by US

In a landslide vote, Iceland has been elected by the UN to take a seat on its 47-member Human Rights Council. Needing just 97 votes, Iceland received 172 votes and secured 99.4 percent of the poll – beating a rival bid by France. The country will fill the seat vacated by the US last month, which left the Geneva-based body after calling it a “cesspool of political bias” for its criticism of Israel’s conduct against Palestinians. The move was met with resounding worldwide criticism – even from allies in NATO and the EU. Iceland will remain on the council until its three-year term expires at the end of 2019.