US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told the UN Human Rights Council that America will seek a permanent seat on the panel for the 2022-24 term on Wednesday. Experts suggest that the announcement is the latest instance of President Biden’s pivot towards multilateralism and rejection of the former Trump administration’s American first policy.
In 2018, Washington withdrew from the council, accusing the panel of anti-Israel bias and allowing rights-abusing states as members. Blinken also described the forty-seven-member council as flawed and maintained that the American absence has created a power vacuum that has been abused by the states with authoritarian agendas.
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The current membership of Venezuela, Russia, China, Eritrea, Uzbekistan has attracted criticism from US lawmakers. While talking to the virtual summit, Biden’s top diplomat stated that he was pleased to announce that the US would be seeking membership in the next term elections.
In October, during the UN General Assembly, the election for the three-year membership is expected to take place, and until then, the US will have the observatory status. Although it remains to be seen what kind of leadership role the US would play, analysts suggest that the move is Biden’s emphasis on international organizations and United Nations.
This comes a week after Washington rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, which seeks to end carbon emissions and from which former president Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2017. Besides, the newly-elected president also rejoined the World Health Organization and pledged to resume funding for the global agency. Additionally, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden’s pick for the American ambassador to the US, will be sworn in officially on Wednesday after the Senate confirmation.
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