Pres. Barack Obama has announced that the United States will seek a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council for the first time. The formal election of new members is in May, but the result is a foregone conclusion. The human-rights abusers who dominate the Council and use it to protect themselves, to eliminate universal standards, and to demonize their democratic foes are already celebrating.
This is a surrender of American values unlike any other. The spectacle of this particular president legitimizing a lethal weapon for the defeat of human rights will haunt him until the end of his term.
The Council was created in March 2006 after the U.N. Human Rights Commission became too much of an embarrassment even for the U.N. The General Assembly rejected a U.S. proposal requiring that states actually protect human rights as a condition of Council membership. As a result, the United States voted against the Assembly resolution that gave it birth.
The Bush administration also refused to use taxpayer dollars to pay for the Council. Obama’s move will reverse this policy. It is, therefore, important to appreciate exactly what American tax dollars will now be purchasing. Here is a sample of what the Council has “accomplished” over its short history.
‐ Human-rights victims will rue the day that the United States legitimized this morally bankrupt institution. President Obama will, too.