Kuwait is set to replace Syria as a candidate for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, after diplomats and activists argued that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's brutal crackdown against his own people made his nation's candidacy inappropriate.
Syria has been accused of human rights abuses in its government putdown of political unrest. Rights groups say more than 630 civilians have died in the unrest, and as many as 8,000 people are either missing or detained.
Kuwait is expected to take Syria's position on the Asian list of four candidate nations vying for a spot among 15 of the Council's 47 seats. The United Nations will hold a secret ballot vote May 20.
Candidate nations run under regional blocks. The Asian block includes India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The Geneva-based Human Rights Council was created in 2006.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.