U.S. to reopen dialogue with UN Human Rights Council
by Kent Covington
Posted 2/08/21, 05:59 pm
Former President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the troubled UN Human Rights Council almost three years ago when it didn’t adopt his list of reforms. But President Joe Biden plans to reengage with the panel.
Why the change? Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that leaving the council “did nothing to encourage meaningful change, but instead created a vacuum of U.S. leadership.” The United Nations’ human rights body has long drawn criticism for overlooking abuses by autocratic regimes. It has also allowed some violators of human rights to serve as members. Critics accuse the panel of frequently, and often unfairly, targeting Israel. Blinken said that while it is a “flawed body,” when working well, it “can serve as an important forum for those fighting injustice and tyranny.” Current members of the Human Rights Council include China, Cuba, Russia, and Venezuela.
Dig deeper: Read June Cheng’s report about how China tried to defend some of its abuses before the council.
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