Since the earliest days of this Administration, President Biden has made clear that our foreign policy would be grounded in America’s most cherished democratic values: defending freedom, championing opportunity, upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms, respecting the rule of law, and treating everyone with dignity. He also promised to restore American engagement internationally and renew our leadership to catalyze global action on shared challenges. We have taken up that charge to tirelessly pursue and promote those values – in our bilateral and multilateral relationships and at the United Nations.
Today, I can announce that the United States was elected to serve on the UN Human Rights Council for the next term, beginning in 2022.
We will work hard to ensure the Council upholds its highest aspirations and better supports those fighting against injustice and tyranny around the world. The path towards the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms will be filled with challenges. The United States commits to continue this steadfast pursuit, at every opportunity, with any and all countries that will join us.
The Council plays a meaningful role in protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms by documenting atrocities in order to hold wrongdoers accountable. It focuses attention on emergencies and unfolding human rights crises, ensuring that those who are voiceless have a place to be heard. The Council provides a forum where we can have open discussions about ways we and our partners can improve. At the same time, it also suffers from serious flaws, including disproportionate attention on Israel and the membership of several states with egregious human rights records. Together, we must push back against attempts to subvert the ideals upon which the Human Rights Council was founded, including that each person is endowed with human rights and that states are obliged to protect those rights.
I want to thank the UN Member States for affording the United States the opportunity to serve again on the Human Rights Council. We look forward to the work ahead with our international partners to protect, defend, and advance human rights and the work of the Council globally.