U.S. announces bid to reclaim seat on UN Human Rights Council

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The United States (U.S.) will seek election to return as a member of the Human Rights Council.

Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, announced on Wednesday after nearly three years of U.S. absence from the top UN rights body.

Blinken participated as an observer in an online session of the Geneva-based council.

Washington left the group under the previous administration of President Donald Trump.

“The United States is placing democracy and human rights at the centre of our foreign policy, because they are essential for peace and stability,’’ said Blinken.

“We humbly ask for the support of all UN member states in a bid to return to a seat in this body.’’

The chief diplomat acknowledged that his country is facing its own challenges regarding democracy and rights.

“People of colour in the United States deal every day with the consequences of systemic racism and economic injustice,’’ Blinken said.

He added, however, that the U.S. is openly dealing with such problems, in contrast with authoritarian regimes.

Blinken pledged that Washington will continue to call out violations in countries such as China, Myanmar, Russia and Venezuela.

He made clear that President Joe Biden’s administration shares concerns about the Human Rights Council that the Trump administration had voiced as it left the body.

The council should stop singling out Israel, and its members should not include “those with the worst human rights records,’’ Blinken said.

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