The Marshall Islands has put forward its candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council for 2020-2022.
The Marshalls President Hilda Heine made the announcement while addressing the General Assembly meeting in New York.
Ms Heine said human rights were a universal ideal which all must aspire to and uphold and the Council has the potential to lend transparency, dialogue and progress.
She said her country had experienced what can happen if rights are not upheld.
"From our own history and our contemporary challenges, the Marshall Islands knows the dire consequences that arise when the international community might look the other way because of political expediency.
"Far more political will is needed to ensure no one is truly left behind."
Ms Heine said human rights were a universal ideal which all must aspire to and uphold.
She said the Council had the potential to bring progress to human rights issues around the world. .
"Whatever the shortcomings of the United Nations Human Rights Council, it is on the shoulders of member states to address. We have to fix it ourselves and we will not stand by in silence."