US aims to return to UN human rights body, Blinken said
April 20, 2021

US aims to return to UN human rights body

GENEVA (SWITZERLAND) – The United States will look forward to the election to the UN Human Rights Council later this year, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday. This would mark Biden administration’s latest attempt for an international re-engagement.

Blinken, addressing the council by recorded video, said that President Joseph Biden’s administration would work towards eliminating, which according to him, is the Geneva forum’s “disproportionate focus” on US ally Israel.

The United States had left the council in June 2018 during Trump’s term as President, but the Biden government resumed as an observer earlier this month.

Blinken said, “I’m pleased to announce the United States will seek election to the Human Rights Council for the 2022-24 term. We humbly ask for the support of all UN member states in our bid to return to a seat in this body.”

The annual elections for three-year membership on the 47-member council are likely to be conducted at the UN General Assembly in October. Britain, China and Russia are among current members.

Blinken said, “As the United States re-engages, we urge the Human Rights Council to look at how it conducts its business. That includes its disproportionate focus on Israel.”

The council, established in 2006, has an item, considered a stand-alone one, on the Palestinian territories on its agenda every session, the only issue with such treatment, which both Democratic and Republican administrations have shown resentment.

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