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Biden Administration to Rejoin U.N. Human Rights Council in Another Reversal of Trump

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President Joe Biden has instructed his administration to rejoin the United Nations Human Rights Council.

What We Know:

  • According to an announcement made on Monday by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the plan to rejoin the council is an effort to focus the administration’s commitment to pursuing a foreign policy centered on democracy, human rights, and equality.
  • The act is reversing yet another one of the Trump administration’s prior moves to take the U.S. out of international organizations and pacts. According to Time Magazine, Trump had previously removed the country from the council back in 2018, citing a disproportionate focus on Israel.
  • Among other issues, Trump was against the number of authoritarian countries accused of human rights abuses among the council’s members, including Venezuela, Russia, and China. Trump finally left the global organization after it failed to meet an extensive list of reforms demanded by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.
  • The Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged that the council is in need of reform, offering a statement that reads, “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.” 
  • Since taking office, President Biden has undone a number of Trump’s decisions, Biden has rejoined both the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization within his first month of the presidency. He has also expressed interest in rejoining the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Iran nuclear deal.

Director of the ACLU, Jamil Dakwar, called the decision “very encouraging news” and a test of “the administration’s credibility on international human rights [that] will be judged by how close it will match its rhetoric with concrete actions to advance human rights at home and abroad.”

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