The new US President Joe Biden is revising another decision made by his predecessor Donald Trump. He wants to bring the USA back to the UN Human Rights Council – even if he sees it critically.
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The US will return to the UN Human Rights Council as an observer. This was announced by a US spokesman at the United Nations in Geneva on Monday. “We do this knowing that the most effective way to improve and reform the work of the UN Human Rights Council is through engagement in principle,” said Chargé d’affaires Mark Cassyre.
In June 2018, under the then US President Donald Trump, the USA announced its withdrawal from the Human Rights Council. Trump considered the body of 47 states to be biased, among other things because of its frequent criticism of Israel. The US was also targeted by the council for allegations of racism.
USA wants to bring in a spirit of renewal
After returning to the Paris Climate Agreement and stopping the exit at the World Health Organization, it is a further step by the new US administration under Joe Biden to overturn the decisions of his predecessor to withdraw from international bodies and obligations.
The US is now bringing a new spirit of cooperation and renewal to its engagement with the Human Rights Council, it said. “We are committed to working with all of you to strengthen this institution and defend human rights around the world,” said Cassyre. He recalled the statements by US President Joe Biden that he wanted to fight racism in the USA.
Biden sees shortcomings and potential in the Human Rights Council
The US government sees the shortcomings of the Human Rights Council, but at the same time recognizes that the body has the potential to be an important forum in the fight against tyranny and injustice worldwide. The commitment of the Human Rights Council is urgent. A number of possible human rights violations have been observed over the past few months and deserve the panel’s immediate attention.
The 47 countries represented in the Council for three years each are elected by the UN General Assembly according to a geographical key. It happens again and again that countries are represented that are accused of human rights violations. Among other things, the Trump administration accused the body of being incredulous.