‘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 …

A list of opportunities for human rights under the next US administration

by Yoni Ish-Hurwitz, Executive Director, Human Rights Likeminded Office Blog, Blog, By invitation

Starting 20 January, when US President-elect Joe Biden takes office, so much can change for human rights at the United Nations. The US, which is the largest contributor to the UN budget by far, will have the power to move mountains if President-elect Biden delivers on his plan to restore US leadership on the global stage . His transition team has been preparing for months. He sees four crucial …

US presidential candidates set out markedly different positions on human rights, the Human Rights Council and the UN

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Universal Rights Group NYC

With a Presidential election less than 100 days away, over 150,000 American deaths from COVID-19, and a GDP freefall comparable to the Great Depression, the focus of the American voter is very much on domestic, rather than foreign, policy. Yet, a recent draft State Department report contains worrying implications about the human rights foreign (and domestic) policy of a second term Donald …

What the ‘US Commission on Unalienable Rights’ gets wrong about the UN

by Ryan Kaminski, Security Fellow, Truman National Security Project Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Universal Rights Group NYC

On July 16, the US State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights, tasked with providing ‘advice on human rights grounded in [U.S.] founding principles and the principles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights,’ released its draft report . Policy, legal, and rights experts have since opined on the Commission’s problematic conceptual approach.  The report’s conclusions on the UN human rights system should …

Why the US left the UN Human Rights Council – and why it matters

by Dr. Rosa Freedman Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The US’s announcement that it is  leaving the UN Human Rights Council  should not surprise anyone, since the Trump administration has long made clear its disdain for many parts of the United Nations. But the damage that the decision is likely to cause could nonetheless topple an increasingly wobbly house of cards. When the Human Rights Council was created in 2006, the US (then under the …

The UN Secretary-General’s human rights crisis can be solved

by Dr Bertrand G. Ramcharan Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

There is a crisis in the United Nations human-rights system. Secretary-General António Guterres can lead the way out of it. Indeed, the world continues to look to the UN secretary-general to stand up for the principles of the organisation. One of the highest responsibilities of the incumbent is to help steer a course toward realising UN goals in the areas …

US departure from the Human Rights Council: what really happened and what will happen next?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog

On 19th June, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, flanked by the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced that the US would resign its membership of the UN Human Rights Council. The news rocked the Council and the wider UN, with many delegations, especially Western delegations, visibly shaken by the news and its implications for the international human rights system. Yet should they – or anyone else – really be …