Cover Photo : United Nations Human Rights Council (logo).
Sulutpos.com, Washington – In response to reports that the White House and State Department are debating a possible American withdrawal from the 47-member United Nations Human Rights Council, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“American participation in the UN Human Rights Council gives the organization a more effective, more thoughtful voice in support of fundamental human rights, even if in the past the Council has shamefully ignored some of the worst violators of those rights,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “American leadership and funding remain critical if the United States hopes to improve the Council’s performance. As we and seven other organizations said in a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson, disengagement from the Council would leave a vacuum that would be filled by states that do not share the United States’ interests and values. The result would be less focus on the world’s worst human rights abusers, continued outsized focus on Israel, and more repressive governments gaining membership in the Council. None of these outcomes serves America’s interests.”
In 2006 and 2007, the administration of President George W. Bush decided against seeking one of the 47 seats on the Council because of its focus on Israel. In 2008, the United States withdrew from all involvement with the Council, including its observer status, a decision reversed in 2009 by the administration of President Barack Obama.
Freedom House Press Release