Three years after Trump’s withdrawal, the United States officially returns to the UN Human Rights Council

The United States has returned to the UN Human Rights Council more than three years after the Trump administration resigned from a 47-member organization called “Guardians of Human Rights Violators.”

The UN General Assembly on October 14 elected the United States as one of 18 new members of the Geneva-based council on an undisputed ballot. The United States received 168 votes in the three years from January 1st next year, the second lowest vote after Eritrea, which received 144 votes.

UN Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Washington would initially focus on “what can be achieved in urgently needed situations such as Afghanistan, Burma, China, Ethiopia, Syria and Yemen.”

“Our goal is clear: to stand on the side of human rights advocates and oppose human rights abuses and human rights abuses,” she said in a statement, and the United States also “opposes the council’s disproportionate attention to Israel. “He added.

President Donald Trump at the time said he was not ashamed of his name, withdrawing from UN rights groups in 2018, citing China, Cuba and Venezuela as some of the worst infringers sitting on the council. ..

Jiang Duan, Minister of China’s UN mission in Geneva, has been appointed to a five-member committee of the Human Rights Council, despite the administration’s track record of crackdowns.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a bid for the United States to return to the body in February, admitting the council’s flaws, but “improving the council and doing its important work sits at the table. Is the best. “

UNWatch, a UN-accredited non-profit organization, found that only five of the 18 new member states were eligible to join the council. The result of Thursday’s UN elections has sunk democratic caucuses to just under one-third of total membership, he said.

“The United States has promised to work on reforming council members, methods and agendas, which will be a difficult order,” said Hiller Neuer, executive director of the group, in a pre-election statement. Stated. “The world’s victims suffer when the United Nations’ highest human rights group becomes a fox guarding a poultry house.”

Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), a top Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has blamed the US decision to rejoin the council as “shame.”

“The United States must not lend its legitimacy to organizations that include perpetrators of human rights abuses, such as China, Venezuela and Cuba,” the Senator said in a statement. “The Biden administration will slap its back by rejoining this flawed body, but it did so without ensuring the necessary reforms and could not support human rights around the world. prize.”

The Epoch Times is seeking a response from the State Department.



Eva Fu is a New York-based writer of The Epoch Times, focusing on Sino-US relations, religious freedom, and human rights.