Joe Biden’s administration will reengage with the UN’s Human Rights Council, 3 year after former President Donald Trump withdrew over what his administration called bias against Israel & a lack of reform.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken will announce on Monday that the US will return to the Geneva-based council as an observer, a senior State Department official said on Sunday.
“We intend to do so knowing that the most effective way to reform & improve the Council is to engage with it in a principled fashion,” the official said.
“We know that the Council has the potential to be an important forum for those fighting tyranny & injustice around the world. By being present at the table, we seek to reform it and ensure it can live up to that potential,” the official said.
The plan was first reported by the Associated Press.
Trump, a Republican whose “America First” agenda contributed to his decisions to withdraw from multiple international organizations & agreements, quit the Human Rights Council in 2018 – halfway through its 3 year term – over what it called chronic bias against Israel & a lack of reform.
The one ninety three -member U.N. General Assembly is due to elect new members to the council later this year. Members are elected for 3 years and cannot serve more than 2 consecutive terms. Candidates are elected by secret ballot in geographical groups to ensure even representation.
The next session of the 47-member Geneva-based council is due to start later this month.