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Biden administration to rejoin U.N. Human Rights Council in another reversal of Trump

Biden administration to rejoin U.N. Human Rights Council in another reversal of Trump

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Monday that the U.S. is rejoining the United Nations Human Rights Council, reversing yet another of the Tr

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Monday that the U.S. is rejoining the United Nations Human Rights Council, reversing yet another of the Trump administration’s moves to exit multilateral organizations and pacts.

Former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the often-criticized international body in 2018.

“When it works well, the @UN Human Rights Council shines a spotlight on countries with the worst human rights records and can serve as a beacon for those fighting against injustice and tyranny,” Blinken tweeted. “That’s why the U.S. is back at the table,” he added.

Blinken added that the council “is flawed and needs reform, but walking away won’t fix it.”

“The best way to improve the Council, so it can achieve its potential, is through robust and principled U.S. leadership,” he added.

Jan. 27, 202101:05

In June 2018, Trump’s ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, announced the U.S. was withdrawing from the council, citing “chronic bias against Israel.” The move made good on the administration’s repeated threats to leave the 47-member body, which Haley slammed as “hypocritical and self-serving.” Israel has received by far the largest number of critical council resolutions against any country.

The Trump administration and other critics also said the council was quick to overlook abuses by autocratic regimes and governments — and even accept them as members. The body’s membership currently includes China, Cuba, Eritrea, Russia and Venezuela, all of which have been accused of human rights abuses.

The action is one of several so far by the Biden administration to undo Trump’s moves to pull the U.S. out of international agreements and organizations. Since taking office last month, Biden has rejoined both the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization — both of which Trump exited.

However, previous administrations had also expressed concerns about the U.N. Human Rights Council — often questioning the body’s willingness to have notorious human rights abusers as members. Democratic presidents have tended to want a seat at the table while Republicans have recoiled at its criticism of Israel.

The Associated Press contributed.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Nbcnews.com

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