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US Prez Joe Biden seeks to rejoin UN Human Rights Council

The former president pulled out of the Geneva-based body over what he saw as its bias against the Israeli government.

Shivani Arora

Shivani AroraBy Shivani Arora

Published on 8 Feb 2021 3:14 PM GMT

US Prez Joe Biden seeks to rejoin UN Human Rights Council
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UN Human Rights Council
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The United States will announce this week that it plans to rejoin the UN’s Human Rights Council, reversing another key policy of the previous Trump administration.

The former president pulled out of the Geneva-based body over what he saw as its bias against the Israeli government.

Members also include China, Cuba, Eritrea, Russia and Venezuela, all of which have been accused of human rights abuses.

US seeks to regain influence

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will announce on Monday that the United States will return as an observer, with a view to seeking election as a full member.

The Associated Press reported that the Biden administration intends to seek one of three full member seats — currently held by Austria, Denmark and Italy — from the “Western Europe and other states group” that will be up for grabs later this year.

“We know that the Council has the potential to be an important forum for those fighting tyranny and injustice around the world,” a US State Department official said.

“By being present at the table, we seek to reform it and ensure it can live up to that potential,” the official added.

Biden reverses Trump’s America First policies

Ex-US President Trump’s withdrawalfrom the Human Rights Council formed part of what he called his ‘America First’ policy.

He also pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal, the World Health Organization and UNESCO, a UN educational and cultural body based in France.

Since taking office last month, President Joe Biden has rejoined both the Paris accord and the WHO and has signaled interest in returning to the Iran deal as well as UNESCO.

ALSO READ: Iran urges US President Joe Biden to return on Nuclear Deal

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Shivani Arora

Shivani Arora

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