Wednesday, March 21, 2018 08:29:56 AM

US: Trump Strong-Arms Rights Body

By Human Rights Watch - Wed Mar 15, 11:53 pm

The United States government’s reported plan to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council if specific demands are not met shows a lack of commitment to advancing human rights around the world. A senior aide to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson quoted in Foreign Policy and other media accounts indicated that the Trump administration was threatening to withdraw from the council, the UN’s principal human rights body, citing an excessive focus on Israel and its skewed membership.

The UN General Assembly in New York elected the US to a three-year term on the Human Rights Council on October 28, 2016. No country has ever withdrawn from the council after running for election to secure the seat.

“Threatening to walk out of the Human Rights Council rather than working to make it more effective does nothing to improve the council’s performance,” said Sarah Margon, Washington director at Human Rights Watch. “Rather, it would signal that the Trump administration is not really interested in improving the human rights of vulnerable people around the globe.”

Despite its flaws, the 47-member Human Rights Council has made a real difference on human rights issues worldwide, particularly through focused engagement over many years on North Korea, Syria, Iran, Burma, South Sudan, and Sri Lanka….

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