By Claudia Lugo –
In a statement released on Monday morning the State Department announced, “The Biden administration has recommitted the United States to a foreign policy centered on democracy, human rights, and equality. Effective use of multilateral tools is an important element of that vision, and in that regard the President has instructed the Department of State to reengage immediately and robustly with the UN Human Rights Council.”
The State Department called the Human Rights Council “a flawed body, in need of reform to its agenda, membership, and focus, including its disproportionate focus on Israel.”
The United States withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018 and the State Department Monday morning said that withdrawal, “did nothing to encourage meaningful change, but instead created a vacuum of U.S. leadership, which countries with authoritarian agendas have used to their advantage.”
The State Department says that the “Council can help to promote fundamental freedoms around the globe, including freedoms of expression, association and assembly, and religion or belief as well as the fundamental rights of women, girls, LGBTQI+ persons, and other marginalized communities.”
The United States will engage with the Council as an observer, and in that capacity will have the opportunity to speak in the Council, participate in negotiations, and partner with others to introduce resolutions.
The State Department says, “the best way to improve the Council is to engage with it and its members in a principled fashion. We strongly believe that when the United States engages constructively with the Council, in concert with our allies and friends, positive change is within reach.”