Wednesday, December 8

The US returns to the UN Human Rights Council, where it will coincide with Cuba or Venezuela


CORRESPONDENT IN NEW YORK

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The United States will once again have a seat at the UN Human Rights Council as of January 1, one of the most controversial bodies of the international organization due to the bad reputation in this area of ​​many of its members.

The US was one of 18 countries chosen to renew part of the council, which hosts 47 countries. Among them, some appear with very questionable human rights records, like Cuba, China, Russia or Venezuela. This is despite the fact that the organization has the objective, according to its own statutes, “to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the world and to confront and make recommendations about human rights violations.”

The disconnect between the objectives of the organism and some of its habitual members –Venezuela, for example, frequently stands for election, which allows you to be part of it for three years – was the reason why Donald Trump decided in 2018 for the US to abandon him.

‘It’s been too long the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of ideological prejudices, “said then the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

«The advice follows blooking for political scapegoats in countries with a good record in human rights to distract from those who abuse and are part of it, “added Haley.

The Biden Administration is aware of the problems weighing on the Council of Human Rights of the UN. Your secretary of state, Antony Blink, acknowledged that “it has important defects, such as the adisproportionate stress it places on Israel or the participation of several states with regrettable records in human rights ».

Still, he considered that the US presence will serve to “oppose attempts to subvert the ideals on which the body was founded.”

The president of the USA, Joe Biden, confirmed at the beginning of his presidency that his country would return to the body, within the return to multilateral entities from which Trump left during his term, such as the World Health Organization or the Paris Agreement on climate change.

«America will once again be a constructive voice who will work to help the Human Rights Council stay true to its mandate, “said Biden after holding the election to the body.

Your ambassador to the UN, Lind Thomas-Greenfield, assured that the role of the US will be “to join the defenders of human rights and confront violations and abuses” and explained that the first efforts within the organization will be dedicated to Afghanistan, Burma, China, Ethiopia, Syria and Yemen.

The very process of electing new member countries, which occurred on Thursday, shows the council’s problems. The day before, Human Rights Watch had asked UN member countries not to vote for candidates with “regrettable” records in this area, such as Cameroon, Eritrea or the United Arab Emirates. All of them results chosen without problem. In fact, of the 18 elected countries, the US was the one with the fewest votes, behind only Eritrea.

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