Jump to content
TedderVision
Sign in to follow this  
Bruce

Should America rejoin the UN Human Rights Council?

Recommended Posts

All questions are asked to both candidates, so you should give their answer in addition to rebutting their opponents. You may speak as many times as you feel is necessary.

Quote

Was President Trump justified in withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council citing “a chronic bias against Israel” and the human rights abuses of various sitting members, which include China and Venezuela? As President, will you seek to rejoin the Council?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The United Nations is not a perfect organisation and the Human Rights Council is perhaps one of the best examples of this fact. Israel does do a lot of bad things, their justification for their siege of Gaza may be a sound one but there is surely a better way than to simply cage an entire populace in a fence with snipers guarding the whole thing. The illegal occupation and settlement of Palestinian land by the Israelis is another unfortunate human rights violation that as President I will do everything in my power to prevent Israel from doing. But at the end of the day for many years Israel was the only functioning democracy in the Middle East, for many years Israel has been surrounded by much worse human rights abusers such as Assad, Mubarak, and Gaddafi. This I think is where the Human Rights Council at the UN falls down, it condemns the human rights violations of the Israeli Government - in some cases fairly and in others not - yet it fails to condemn the violations of other nations such as Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

Of course there are many reasons for this, the UNHCR operates on a one member, one vote, system. That means that the likes of China who have been investing in Africa to grow their influence there can get away with a lot more than a nation such as Israel can. But the way to remedy this problem is not to throw our hands in the air and say that we will have no further part in it anymore than we should be doing that with the Middle East crisis and two-state solution in Israel/Palestine, no the way to remedy this situation is to be inside and reforming. As I have said before America's economy is the strongest in the history of the World, that brings with it an unprecedented amount of soft power that we can deploy to our advantage if we simply cleave ourselves away from Trump's isolationist rhetoric. International Aid is one way to develop countries and bring about closer ties but what if we created something more? China have been providing African nations with strategic development loans, whilst China goes about it in a frankly abhorrent way - if you miss a payment China will happily seize a port from you in a manner that looks eerily similar to a gangster movie - we could do it right. The only country that can stand toe to toe with China economically is us, not only can we stand toe to toe but we can conclusively say that we are larger, stronger, and better economically. Let's use it.

Trump ran on an "America First" agenda, my opponent here is running as a continuity candidate on many issues, adopting walls and tariffs as if they were his own policy, I want to see real policy that makes America great again, policy that puts us at the centre of the World and at the top table of global leadership. If we want to make the UNHRC work for everyone including us and our Israeli allies it needs reform, to get these reforms we need to make friends on the World stage and rebuild the bridges that Trump burned in his four years in office; Strategic Development loans to grow our allies in a sustainable way and allow them to develop into nations that can look after themselves is exactly how we will do just that. We will open doors to US corporations to export their goods and services to help these countries expand, helping our traders out in the process, and we will build another group of allies that America can depend upon when we need to. To me that sounds like a win-win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The US was right to leave the UN Human Rights Council.

The UN created the council in 2006 to replace the Commission on Human Rights whose reputation had fallen to the point that even former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan acknowledged that “ the Commission’s declining credibility has cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole.” In negotiations to create the council, the Bush administration fought hard to establish stronger membership criteria and other standards to make sure it did not replicate the weaknesses of the commission. All of their proposals were rejected.

The Council since then has exhibited the same exact characteristics of the Commission of Human Rights demonstrating a vast bias against Israel constituting nearly half of all resolutions while ignoring the human rights violations of countries such as China, Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, or Zimbabwe with no resolutions being passed condemning a single action of any of the following countries. Legitimate human rights violations of religious persecution, punishment for political dissent, suppression of the press, unequal rights for women, and the targeting of political opponents go routinely ignored.

The Obama administration in 2009 rejoined the Council in an effort to reform it and their record shows such a notion to be debunk. Similar efforts under Trump got nowhere. A council in which 14 of the 47 members are considered "not free" according to Freedom House is going to stand a bulwark against any change. Instead repressive countries line up to praise one another, interrupt criticism from NGOs, and deflect criticisms by attacking other countries such as the United States that dare criticize their records.

Take for example the Universal Periodic Review. The UPR is a process under which every country undergoes a review of its human-rights practices and receives recommendations for improvement. According to UPR Info, the country that has received the most recommendations is the United States. That's right according the the Council's process the United States is in more need of human rights advise than Cuba, Iran, China, or Sudan. It's just one big sham.

Another example of its deflection to actually pursue real violators of human rights is in how many times the forty-four human-rights experts for thematic mandates established in 2006 have conducted visits to the United States. Of their over 600 visits to more than 160 countries the United States by far has been their top destination. Clearly, the Council is not allocating its time and effort optimally with the United States and Israel dominate its agenda and focus.

The Human Rights Council does not equate to support for human rights. In fact it's a cover for violators of human rights. The United States shouldn't expend so much time, effort, and influence in making the Council slightly less harmful and bias when the other members are unwilling to invest similar time and effort in actually improving the council itself. As they say, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. The United States would be better served to focus its efforts on passing stronger resolutions in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly. Rhetoric in regards to the Human Rights Council needs to take a backseat to reality and the ire taken at the Trump administration for their withdraw should really be directed at the countries that have refused to support U.S. efforts to fix the council’s manifest flaws—flaws that, like those of the Commission before it, sully the reputation of the United Nations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×