The new Secretary of State announced that the United States, under its new President Joe Biden, is now turning its back on Trump’s policy at the United Nations Human Rights Council: The United States will once again apply for a full seat. “We humbly request the support of all UN member states in our endeavors to regain a seat on this body,” said Anthony Blinken in his video message at the annual general meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Although ready to return – US criticism of the Human Rights Council
After two and a half years of absence, Washington wants to be re-elected to the 47-member body at the end of the year. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the council in 2018 after being accused of bias against Israel and a lack of will to reform.
Despite the planned return, the Biden government agrees with some criticism of the previous government, Blinken said. This includes the council’s position toward Israel. Blinken criticized Israel as the only country to denounce at every meeting. In addition, states will be elected to the body that ignores human rights: “Those who have the worst human rights record should not be members of this council.”
It is reported that China, Russia and Venezuela are currently members of the Commission, along with Cuba, Cameroon, Eritrea and the Philippines. Countries are frequently mocked for human rights violations. Regarding the United States, Blinken acknowledged systemic racism and discrimination against blacks. And he promised that the government under President Biden would take action against it. “The United States does not claim to be perfect, but we strive to get better every day,” Blinken said.
“With the United States is much stronger than without it.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas welcomed the return of the United States “wholeheartedly.” Maas said in Berlin that the Human Rights Council is not perfect, “but it will be much stronger with the United States than without it.”
The United Nations General Assembly elects 47 full-member states to the Human Rights Council for a term of three years each. At three meetings a year, they examine the situation in individual countries or in thematic priorities. All UN member states can attend meetings as observers at any time and speak, but only current member states can vote on resolutions. Germany is currently a member of the council.
qu / rb (dpa, afp, ap)