Biden administration announces the US will be re-engaging in the UN Human Rights Council

The Biden administration announced Monday that the US will be moving toward re-engaging in the UN Human Rights Council.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, “We recognize that the Human Rights Council is a flawed body, in need of reform to its agenda, membership, and focus, including its disproportionate focus on Israel. However, our withdrawal in June 2018 did nothing to encourage meaningful change, but instead created a vacuum of U.S. leadership, which countries with authoritarian agendas have used to their advantage.” Blinken believes that the best way for the Human Rights Council to be improved is for the US to be more engaged. The US will start by engaging as an observer.

The Trump administration originally withdrew from the Council around mid-2018, citing an unfair bias against Israel and issues with its membership which includes leaders of authoritarian regimes. The council consists of countries such as China and Venezuela. The current UN Ambassador Nikki Haley called on the council at the time to make changes and said if they did not then the US would be withdrawing.

Blinken added, “To address the Council’s deficiencies and ensure it lives up to its mandate, the United States must be at the table using the full weight of our diplomatic leadership.” Former Ambassador Nikki Haley responded on Twitter saying, “The UN Human Rights Council doesn’t improve human rights. It covers dictators & human rights abusers like Russia, China, & Venezuela. Sad to see the Biden admin legitimize an org that has become a farce to human rights advocates around the world.”




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