Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced Monday that the U.S. is rejoining the United Nations Human Rights Council, reversing but another of the Trump administration’s strikes to exit multilateral organizations and pacts.
President Joe Biden instructed the State Department “to re-engage immediately and robustly” with the physique as half of his administration’s dedication to pursuing a international coverage centered on democracy, human rights, and equality with the use of multilateral instruments, Blinken stated in a press release.
Former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the often-criticized worldwide physique in 2018 — a transfer that Blinken stated “did nothing to encourage meaningful change, but instead created a vacuum of U.S. leadership.”
“When it works well, the @UN Human Rights Council shines a spotlight on countries with the worst human rights records and can serve as a beacon for those fighting against injustice and tyranny,” Blinken additionally stated in a put up on Twitter, including, “That’s why the U.S. is back at the table.”
Blinken added that the council “is flawed and needs reform, but walking away won’t fix it.”
“The best way to improve the Council, so it can achieve its potential, is through robust and principled U.S. leadership,” he added.
In the quick time period, the U.S. would interact as an observer, he stated in his assertion, including, “We strongly believe that when the United States engages constructively with the council, in concert with our allies and friends, positive change is within reach.”
In June 2018, Trump’s ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, introduced the U.S. was withdrawing from the council, citing “chronic bias against Israel.” The move made good on the administration’s repeated threats to leave the 47-member body, which Haley slammed as “hypocritical and self-serving.” Israel has received by far the largest number of critical council resolutions against any country.
The Trump administration and other critics also said the council was quick to overlook abuses by autocratic regimes and governments — and even accept them as members. The body’s membership currently includes China, Cuba, Eritrea, Russia and Venezuela, all of which have been accused of human rights abuses.
The announcement came a day after the U.N. human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents.
The Biden administration’s action is one of several so far to undo Trump’s moves to pull the U.S. out of international agreements and organizations. Since taking office last month, Biden has rejoined both the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization — both of which Trump exited.
However, previous administrations had also expressed concerns about the U.N. Human Rights Council — often questioning the body’s willingness to have notorious human rights abusers as members. Democratic presidents have tended to want a seat at the table while Republicans have recoiled at its criticism of Israel.
Abigail Williams and The Associated Press contributed.