Israel admitted into Western bloc advisory body to UN

The U.S. and other Western countries say they have admitted Israel into an informal group in Geneva that will provide it with some influence before the U.N. top human rights body.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power says Israel's entry into the Geneva-based section of the Western European and Others Group will help the country "shape policy and determine leadership posts" at the U.N.'s Human Rights Council.

The group and others like it have no formal standing with the 47-nation council, in which the U.S. is a member but Israel is not, but acts in an advisory capacity.

The American Jewish Committee's executive director, David Harris, said the decision "ends the shameful anomaly whereby Israel was the only U.N. member state not fully integrated in the world body's regional grouping system."