The United Nations Human Rights Council, now comprised of Venezuela and recently, Cuba and China, has long been and remains a haven for dictators and democracies that indulge them. It is a grave disappointment to those genuinely seeking to advance human dignity. Even so, the Council’s decision to vote yesterday on a resolution focusing on policing and race in the United States marks a new low.
The ongoing civic discourse about the tragic death of George Floyd in the United States is a sign of our democracy’s strength and maturity. Americans work through difficult societal problems openly, knowing their freedoms are protected by the Constitution and a strong rule of law. We are serious about holding individuals and institutions accountable, and our democracy allows us to do so. The United States works every day with partners around the world who share our commitment to fundamental freedoms.
Unfortunately, the Council has once again reaffirmed the wisdom of our decision to withdraw in 2018. If the Council were serious about protecting human rights, there are plenty of legitimate needs for its attention, such as the systemic racial disparities in places like Cuba, China, and Iran. If the Council were honest, it would recognize the strengths of American democracy and urge authoritarian regimes around the world to model American democracy and to hold their nations to the same high standards of accountability and transparency that we Americans apply to ourselves.