‘Diplomacy is back’ US President Biden prioritizes diplomacy in his first major foreign policy speech, while his Secretary of State announces ‘robust’ re-engagement with Human Rights Council

by Tess Brennan, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

On Thursday 4 February 2021, Biden delivered his first major foreign policy speech . His decision to deliver the speech from the US State Department reflected his rhetoric on reinvesting resources and trust in America’s diplomats, and his words indicated an approach to international policy marked by working with traditional US allies to protect democracy and human rights globally. Promising action …

The confirmation hearing for Biden’s choice for UN Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, indicates a renewed US focus on multilateralism and human rights 

by Amanda Gu, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

As United States President Joe Biden has been officially inaugurated, all eyes are on his cabinet nominees, as they are key to carrying out the President’s agenda. His pick for US Ambassador to the UN is Linda Thomas Greenfield, a career diplomat with over three decades of experience, holding previous posts as the assistant secretary for the Bureau of African American Affairs as well as US ambassador to Liberia . Her Senate confirmation hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was held on 27 January 2020, covered …

Coup d’état in Myanmar underlines critical importance of the Secretary-General’s prevention agenda – and the continued failure of the UN to deliver on it

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy

The devastating news that Myanmar’s military has again seized power through a coup d’état, after detaining civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior members of her governing party, represents the culmination of a five-year cycle of failure on the part of the UN – a failure to put human rights ‘up front’ in its dealings with governments, and …

Incitement and insurrection in the US underscore need for universal norms on hate speech and disinformation in the digital age

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Amanda Gu, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

The attack on the United States Capitol on 6 January was live streamed on every major internet platform , an act of violence recorded and organised online. Digital technology companies quickly suspended related accounts, adding to a global debate on the parameters of freedom of expression in the digital realm. Given the gravity of the situation — the fact that social media was used in the attempted …

Human Rights Council vote to elect new President sets a positive precedent

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

There have been suggestions in press coverage about the selection of the 2021 President of the Human Rights Council that the inability of members of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) to settle on a single consensus candidate, and to instead pass the decision to the full Council for vote by secret ballot, was in some way a bad thing – that it was …

41st Session of the Human Rights Council.

A new year’s resolution: placing the Human Rights Council at the vanguard of the global democratic fight-back

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy

It is now over thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and excited talk about the ‘end of history’ [i] – the idea that with the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991) and the ascendancy of Western liberal democracy, humanity had reached ‘not just […] the passing of a particular period of …

In the wake of attack on the Capitol, Biden repeats commitment to strengthen democracy domestically and abroad

by Tess Brennan, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy, Universal Rights Group NYC

Biden has repeatedly affirmed his dedication to crafting a foreign policy plan focused on rebuilding alliances with like-minded partners in order to strengthen the United States’ position as a nation that protects and promotes democracy and human rights globally. He made this clear in recent remarks and, in an address following the insurrection at the United States Capitol on 6 …

Time for the Human Rights Council to strengthen its focus on democracy and free and fair elections

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy

16 November 2020, Geneva US diplomats are said to be horrified by the refusal of President Donald Trump, and senior Republicans from inside and outside the administration, to recognise the results of the 3 November 2020 presidential elections, their refusal to sign off on – for the moment – a smooth transition, and, more broadly, their efforts to sow doubts about …

The dangers of Trump’s attacks on American democracy – and the need to reinvigorate that democracy based on rights

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy, Universal Rights Group NYC

On the night of the US Presidential election, as predicted, no winner could be called, with millions of ballots yet to be counted in key battleground states. An impatient President Donald Trump began tweeting that he had won and that his win was being taken from him. As the days crawled by, and more and more votes were counted and …

What will US foreign policy look like under President Joe Biden?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy

Those listening to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory speech over the weekend would have heard him make a fleeting reference to his vision for resetting US foreign policy and renewing America’s global leadership. “Tonight,” he said , “the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best, America is a beacon for the globe. And we lead not by the example …