Saturday, June 23, 2018

Human Rights Council Loses U.S.

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

The United States is officially leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Next, the U.S. should consider leaving the U.N.

Ambassador Nikki Haley gave us a heads up that this was coming in Geneva last year when she laid out three fundamental problems the U.S. has with the U.N. Human Rights Council.

The council has been consistently against our main ally, Israel.  The council has adopted 169 condemnatory resolutions on countries as of the end of May, with 47 percent of them focusing on Israel.  The council’s fixation on Israel is not surprising considering the heavy progressive and Muslim presence on the council.  Unfortunately, the council refuses to address the real problems we've had in the world, such as Iran, Syria, or North Korea.

The reality is, those same members of the council who have been standing against Israel are also among the worse human rights abusers in the world.  How is it that countries guilty of human rights violations are even allowed to be on a United Nations council that claims to be in existence for the purpose of combating such abuses?  In fact, the council has on it some of the most repressive regimes.  14 of the 47 members of the council (including Burundi, China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela) are ranked “not free” by Freedom House. This is the highest number of “not free” countries in council history, indicating that the majority of the world’s governments see no problem with electing human rights violators to the U.N.’s highest human rights body.

Due to the bias of the members of the council, there has been a consistent failure to address serious human rights situations equally and objectively.  Everything is politically motivated, and established to protected the most egregious violators.  So, while the council practices an obsessive focus on Israel, the council has been looking the other way when it comes to human rights violations by some of the world’s most oppressive counties.

For instance, the Human Rights Council has never passed a condemnatory resolution on China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, or Zimbabwe, despite their terrible records of religious persecution, punishment of political dissent, hostility to freedom of the press, unequal rights for women, and use of force against civil society and government opponents, respectively.

With this kind of record, the United States is obligated to remove themselves from the council.

The decision to depart from the United Nations Human Rights Council comes after the U.S. has attempted to reform the misapplied agency.  Haley and other U.S. diplomats in Geneva, New York, Washington, and around the world, the U.S. have engaged bilaterally and multilaterally to promote reforms to address anti-Israel bias, membership quality, and improve the council’s efficiency.

They have been met with disinterest and hostility. Even European governments and human rights groups have opposed the U.S. reform effort out of fear that countries hostile to human rights might seize the opportunity to weaken the council.

Unfortunately, the United States seems to be the only government interested in reasonable reforms, and as the old saying goes, you can reason with the unreasonable, so it was necessary for the United States to pull out.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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