RJC Opposes Biden Plan to Return US to UN Human Rights Council

Washington, DC –– The Republican Jewish Coalition strongly opposes the Biden administration’s plan to take the United States back into the United Nations Human Rights Council as a voting member.

The UNHRC makes a mockery of the cause of human rights. Its members include dictatorial governments like China, Cuba and Venezuela. At the same time, the Council devotes a ludicrous portion of its time and effort to criticizing democratic Israel and even maintains a permanent agenda item for Israel - the only country subject to such treatment. 

The Obama administration brought the US into the UNHRC after President George W. Bush had kept us out. Obama's appointees claimed that our participation was a success because the ratio between anti-Israel resolutions and resolutions chastising other countries became slightly less lopsided, but it was still quite lopsided, and Israel remained on the Council's permanent agenda. 

In his remarks to the Human Rights Council today, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the US will seek election to the Human Rights Council for the 2022-24 term and said, “We humbly ask for the support of all UN Member States in our bid to return to a seat in this body.”

We think the Trump administration was correct to end US participation in 2018 because the Council had resisted the administration's demands for reform and remained, in the words of then-US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, "a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights."

The RJC calls on President Biden to uphold the previous US policy of refusing to participate in the activities of the UNHRC until it undergoes significant reforms.