U.S. to reengage with U.N. Human Rights Council as ‘observer’

“If we work closely with our allies and friends, we can hold countries with the worst human rights records to account in the @ UN Human Rights Council,” Blinken said in a tweet on Monday morning.

The US did not deal with the Council under President George W. Bush even though the Obama administration did cooperate with the Council. Every US administration since the Council’s inception has criticized the Council’s stance on Israel, including calling for the nation to withdraw from Palestinian territories.

Blinken said in the statement that the council can work to promote the rights of women, LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups, as well as freedom of expression and assembly.

“We recognize that the Human Rights Council is a flawed body that needs reform of its agenda, membership and focus, including its disproportionate focus on Israel,” Blinken said in the statement released Monday morning. “Our withdrawal in June 2018, however, did nothing to bring about any significant change – it created a vacuum for US leadership that countries with authoritarian agendas have used to their advantage.”

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