The U.N. Human Rights Council Does Not Deserve U.S. Support

The lack of membership standards for the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) is a key reason behind the Council’s poor record and, sadly, there is little chance for establishing such standards. While the African Union’s nomination of Sudan for membership on the HRC caused justified outrage and eventually lead to Sudan’s withdrawal from the nomination, notorious human rights violators like Cuba, China, and Russia nonetheless currently sit on the Council, while other African countries with dismal human rights records remain virtually assured of election. The Administration’s current strategy of focusing limited diplomatic capital on annually blocking a particularly egregious country while other, only slightly less objectionable states win election is a losing game. Instead of lending credibility to this flawed institution, the U.S. should seek to eliminate it and work to establish a more effective human rights body with rigorous membership standards.

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