The United States is running for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said on Wednesday, marking the abandonment of the empty chair policy of the Trump years.
“I am pleased to announce that the United States will run for a seat on the Human Rights Council for the 2022-2024 term. We humbly ask for the support of all member countries of the UN in our wish to sit again in this institution, ”said Antony Blinken, during a videoconference intervention before the HRC.
The Trump administration had loudly announced in June 2018 that it was leaving the Geneva-based institution and the highest UN body in charge of defending human rights, accusing it of hypocrisy and to go after Israel. “The United States places democracy and human rights at the center of its foreign policy because they are essential for peace and stability,” said Antony Blinken.
“Those with the worst record should not be members of this Council”
“This commitment is rooted in our own experience of an imperfect democracy and often falls short of its own ideals, but always trying to become a more united, more respectful and freer country”, he promised, in a tone which contrasts with that of his predecessor, Mike Pompeo, who sometimes bordered on arrogance.
If Antony Blinken praised the usefulness of the Council and underlined its importance, in particular for quickly drawing attention to crises, he nevertheless warned its members. “We encourage the Human Rights Council to look into the way it works and that also means the disproportionate attention given to Israel,” he warned, suggesting treating Israel and the Palestinian territories with it. same way as any other country. “Those with the worst human rights record should not be members of this Council,” he said.