The US sought to have the UN Security Council meeting next Monday, but won the backing of only eight of the necessary nine member states in a procedural vote, the AFP reported. The council is made up of 15 nations, including the five permanent members -- the US, China, Russia, France and Britain.
It's the first time since 2014 that the council has failed to meet to discuss North Korea's dismal human rights record.
According to AFP, Ivory Coast objected to the session. China and Russia have consistently opposed any discussion of human rights at the council.
North Korea has rejected accusations of human rights abuses as a US-led attempt to topple the regime.
Last month, the country's ambassador to the UN, Kim Song, protested plans for the now-scrapped meeting, saying it would harm the current mood of peace amid diplomatic engagements between Washington and Pyongyang.
A UN panel overseeing humanitarian issues last month adopted a resolution condemning the North's human rights abuses for the 14th consecutive year. The document recommended that the Security Council continue to address the country's human rights situation.
The resolution will be put to a vote at the UN General Assembly later this month.