Biden Administration: Rejoin UN Human Rights Council

Biden Administration: Rejoin UN Human Rights Council

Biden Administration: Rejoin UN Human Rights Council

In 2018, President Trump pulled the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council. But now, in the spirit of destroying everything Trump, the Biden administration plans to rejoin the council. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken acknowledged that the council has its flaws, but the withdrawal “created a vacuum of U.S. leadership.” So now, he said, the US “must be at the table using the full weight of our diplomatic leadership.”

Of course the big elephant in the room is China. Does anyone think American presence on this council will make China curb its own human rights infractions?

The Biden administration does. But not everyone is onboard. Nikki Haley, for example, the American ambassador to the UN when Trump withdrew, opposes this move. Last month she tweeted:

“If Biden rejoins the council whose membership includes dictatorial regimes & some of the world’s worst human rights violators, it will fly in the face of our fight for human rights.”

At the time of the US withdrawal from the Council, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also called out rights abusers sitting in that body:

“The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights. Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy, with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored and some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself.”

Plus, last week 40 House Republicans sent a letter to the Biden administration, urging it to rethink this move. Israel, they insisted, is targeted by other nations on the Council.

“This past year, the 43rd Human Rights Council Session adopted five resolutions condemning Israel, and only one each targeting Iran, Syria and North Korea.”

However, the US can’t join the Human Rights Council immediately. Instead, it would participate as an observer. Later, in October, the US could apply for one of the seats left by Austria, Denmark, and Italy, since these nations would be completing their three-year terms. A total of 15 nations sit on the council.

Biden administration/UN

United Nations Sculpture: Good Defeats Evil. Al_HikesAZ/flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

One of those nations is China, along with the Russian Federation, and Cuba. Anthony Blinken thinks that engaging with these oppressive nations could bring some positive vibes.

“It is our view that the best way to improve the Council is to engage with it and its members in a principled fashion. We strongly believe that when the United States engages constructively with the Council, in concert with our allies and friends, positive change is within reach.”

Besides, says the New York Times, the times they are a-changing. Fiji just became the president nation, and Fiji supports human rights. Fiji also wants the council to address the “deep inequalities” that COVID has revealed. Its goal is to build societies that “are fairer, resilient, and built on human dignity and equality.”

Well, that sounds all fine and good. But does China care?

Don’t bet on it. On Monday, when the Biden administration announced their desire to rejoin the Human Rights Council, a defendant in Hong Kong lost an important right.

Tong Ying-kit, a 23-year-old man arrested under the new National Security Law, will not receive a trial by jury. Instead, three appointed judges will hear his case, despite the fact that Hong Kong has used the jury system for the past 176 years. But the security law has declared that there are instances where a trial by jury would be scrapped. Now Beijing will decide this man’s fate.

Australia has a beef with China, too, about one of its journalists who will be tried in one of Beijing’s fake courts. The Aussies don’t hold back, either. To them China is a “real and present danger.”

Do you think you’d hear this sort of criticism of China in American media? Fat chance.

And now Joe Biden and Co. want to parley with the world’s most egregious offender of human rights. Does anyone really think that Beijing will give a rat’s patoot what the Biden administration has to say at the United Nations Human Rights Council?


Welcome, Instapundit readers!

Featured image: United Nations Building, NYC. Ashitaka San/flickr/cropped/CC BY-NC 2.0.

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Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!


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