Iceland has for the first time been elected to the Human Rights Council, filling the seat vacated by the United States, which withdrew from the Geneva-based body last month, the Associated Press of Pakistan reports.
The United Nations General Assembly on Friday voted to elect Iceland to serve on the 47-member global rights body effective immediately, through to the end of next year.
Iceland inherits no particular responsibilities from the US, raising questions about future action on key human rights issues promoted specifically by Washington, such as Sudan, South Sudan and the right to freedom of expression.
On June 19, the US announced its decision to leave the Council. Senior US officials accused the Council of displaying entrenched bias against Israel, and criticised what they said was the body's willingness to admit nations which were themselves human rights abusers.
The Human Rights Council's next scheduled meeting is in September.