(Geneva) The United States is vying for a seat at the UN Human Rights Council, the head of US diplomacy, Anthony Blinken, announced on Wednesday, signaling that Trump has abandoned the policy of years of empty chair.
“I am pleased to announce that the United States will run for a seat in the Human Rights Council for the period 2022-2024. We humbly request the support of all UN member states in our desire to rejoin this organization,” Mr Blingen said in a video conference address to the HRC.
In June 2018, the Trump administration loudly announced that it was leaving the Geneva-based organization and the UN’s highest body for the protection of human rights, accusing it of hypocrisy and going after Israel.
“The United States places democracy and human rights at the center of its foreign policy because they are essential to peace and stability,” Blingen said.
“This commitment is rooted in our own experience of an imperfect democracy and is often limited to its own principles, but always strives to become a united, respectable and independent nation,” he vowed, contradicting his tone with his predecessor, Mike Pompeo, who was sometimes the frontier of arrogance.
Mr Blingen praised the council’s usefulness and underlined its importance, especially for drawing quick attention to crises, he warned its members.
He encouraged ordinary people as well to take part in solving this great task: “One of the things you and other people can do is keep up the pressure … there are going to be some difficult decisions for government”. Like any other country.
“Those with the worst human rights record should not be members of this council,” he said.
Not only China and Russia but also Venezuela, Cuba or Cameroon, Eritrea and the Philippines are constantly criticized by human citizens and other countries for the way they treat their citizens.
Citing Alexei Navalny, Mr Blingen was particularly critical of Russia for treating its political opponents. He condemned Beijing’s “atrocities” in the Xinjiang region and the situation in Hong Kong.
He recalled that the United States had marked their return to the CHR by condemning the plot in Burma.
Due to a distrust of Donald Trump’s diversity, the empty chair strategy created a vacuum not only in the CDH, but also in the World Health Organization – which was quickly occupied by volunteer Chinese and Russian diplomacy.
The Council consists of 47 full members elected by a majority of the members of the UN General Assembly for a term of three years, while others have observer status. For this new session, which has just begun, the United States has no seat in the 5 permanent members of the Security Council.
Also, board members will not be eligible for re-election immediately after two consecutive terms.