Reversing another of Trump’s policies, the Biden administration announced Monday that the US would “reengage” with the controversial UN Human Rights Council.
Trump’s firm stance against multilateral organizations had ket the US out of the council for nearly three years. According to the US charge d’affaires in Geneva, Mark Cassayre, the US would join the council as an observer, with the intention of becoming a member.
“The Biden administration believes in a foreign policy centered on democracy, human rights and equality. Effective use of multilateral tools is an important element of that vision,” said Cassayre.
The @UN Human Rights 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. Under @POTUS Biden, we are reengaging and ready to lead.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 8, 2021
The Human Rights Council has been criticized for overlooking human rights abuses undertaken by harsh autocratic governments. Also, many point to some of the body’s members, which include China, Cuba, Eritrea, Russia, and Venezuela, as human rights abusers and present clear hypocrisy within the council.
Trump removed the US from the council after the council overwhelmingly passed resolutions against Israel while failing to proportionately apply the same standards to other countries. Additionally, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the council did not meet US reforms.