Biden Administration Urged to Fight Anti-Israel Bias, Chinese Atrocities Against Uighurs, in Rejoining UN Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council meets in Geneva. Photo: UN.

The lead Republican on the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee urged President Joe Biden’s administration to step up the fight against both anti-Israel bias and the genocide currently being waged by the Chinese authorities against the Uighur Muslim minority, following its decision to rejoin the widely-criticized UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC.)

“The UNHRC has revealed its hypocrisy too many times by empowering governments like the Chinese Communist Party and the Maduro and Putin regimes, all of whom are committing atrocities the Council was created to fight against,” Rep. Michael McCaul (TX) said in a statement on Wednesday.

Addressing the decision to reverse the previous Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the UNHRC in June 2018, McCaul acknowledge that “if we are not on the field, then we cannot win the game.”

He continued: “Our participation must be focused on implementing significant reforms, especially eliminating the clear bias against Israel and ensuring the body investigates the genocide against Uighurs in Xinjiang without delay. I urge Secretary Blinken to keep this in mind and work with our allies to hold malign regimes accountable and improve the work of the council in protecting human rights worldwide.”

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February 25, 2021 10:00 am

Earlier on Wednesday, the newly-confirmed US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, emphasized that human rights would be a central concern of her tenure, although she did not mention the Human Rights Council by name.

“Stepping into this role is a deeply meaningful coda to my 35-year career in the Foreign Service.” Thomas-Greenfield said at her swearing-in ceremony. “When I first joined the service, I was, as a Black woman from Louisiana, an outsider. I was warned it would be harder for someone with my background to succeed. And it was. But over the years, I have had the opportunity to represent America in countries as disparate as Liberia, Nigeria, Jamaica, Pakistan, and Switzerland. I have witnessed the horrors of genocide and seen the prevailing power of democracy. I have helped spread our values around the world and experienced the ways we have continually recommitted ourselves to those values, working to form that more perfect union.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the UNHRC on Thursday by video-link that would seek election to the Council for the 2022-24 term.

“We humbly ask for the support of all UN member states in our bid to return to a seat in this body,” Blinken said.

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