UN Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the United States decision to revisit the United Nations Human Rights Council and said the world organization looks forward to hearing Washington’s decisive voice in the Council’s urgent work.
“The Human Rights Council is the world‘s leading forum for addressing all human rights challenges. The Council’s mechanisms and special procedures are important tools for ensuring action and accountability,” said a statement by the UN chief’s spokesman on Monday.
“The United Nations looks forward to hearing the decisive voice of the United States in the urgent work of the Council,” the statement said.
Under the Trump administration, the United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council and condemned its members’ “hypocrisy” and alleged “relentless bias” against Israel.
“As Minister Blinken said, the effective use of multilateral instruments is an important part of the Biden administration’s commitment to a US foreign policy that focuses on democracy, human rights and equality,” the US mission to the United Nations said in a statement on Monday, adding The “best way” to make this commitment a reality is “our ongoing engagement with allies, partners, non-governmental organizations, civil society and multilateral organizations, including within the UN system”.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said President Joe Biden had directed the State Department “promptly and robustly” to reconnect with the UN Human Rights Council.
“We recognize that the Human Rights Council is a flawed body in need of reform of its agenda, membership and focus, including its disproportionate focus on Israel. Our June 2018 withdrawal, however, did nothing to bring about significant change, it instead created one The vacuum of the US leadership that countries with authoritarian agendas have used to their advantage, “said Blinken.
The US Mission to the United Nations added that Washington recognizes that the UN Human Rights Council has its shortcomings, “but we also believe that it can help promote fundamental freedoms around the world.”
“The only way we can ensure that the Human Rights Council fulfills this important mandate is to sit at the table as an observer and, in principle, to work with our partners and allies to do better.”
The mission added that through Washington’s leadership on the UN Security Council and reintegration on the Human Rights Council, “the United States will continue to fight for global peace and security and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all”.
Blinken said that in the near future the United States will be working as an observer with the Council and, in that capacity, “will have the opportunity to speak in the Council, participate in negotiations and work with others to bring about resolutions. We think the best.” One way to improve the Council is to deal with it and its members in principle, and we firmly believe that positive change is within reach when the United States, along with our allies and friends, works constructively with the Council. “
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Human Rights Council was a poor human rights defender.
“Worse still, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy. Many of the world‘s worst human rights violations are being ignored, and some of the world‘s most serious criminals are on the council itself,” he said when the United States left the council.
Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the council had been a protector of human rights abusers and an impasse of political bias.
She said she made it clear to the Human Rights Council that the US will remain a part of it if substantial reforms are achieved, reforms necessary to make the Council a serious human rights advocate.
“Human rights abusers continue to serve on the council and are elected to the council. The world‘s most inhumane regimes continue to escape control, and the council continues to politicize and sin countries with positive human rights records to distract from abusers within their ranks,” she said.
Commenting on the organizing meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Chargé d’Affaires Mark Cassayre said the Joe Biden administration “believes in foreign policy centered on democracy, human rights and equality … The effective use of multilateral instruments is important Element of that vision. “
Cassayre added: “While we recognize the shortcomings of the Council, we know that this body has the potential to be an important forum for those fighting against tyranny and injustice around the world. By being present at the table we want to ensure that it does justice to it. ” Potential.”
The Human Rights Council was established by the United Nations General Assembly in March 2006. The Council consists of 47 member states, elected by a majority of the members of the United Nations General Assembly in direct and secret ballot.
The members of the Council have a three-year term and cannot be re-elected immediately after two consecutive terms.