Haley’s Remarks on U.N. Human Rights Body Offer Hopeful Alternative
Washington, D.C.—In response to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s speech today in Geneva, Human Rights First’s Rob Berschinski issued this statement:
“Ambassador Haley made the right call today in putting the weight of the United States behind reform of a flawed but crucial body. Only dictators and repressive regimes win if America leaves the Human Rights Council, while those searching for justice lose. Thus far, the Trump Administration’s foreign policy appears geared toward diminishing the United States’ moral authority and alienating our closest partners in the struggle for universal human rights. The ambassador’s readiness to approach the Council’s problems with an open mind, and willingness to work with partners to bring about needed changes, offers a more positive alternative. We hope her speech marks a turning point in the Trump Administration’s approach to global leadership, and that the United States finds the courage to speak about failures to uphold human rights wherever they may occur, not just in countries deemed as adversaries.”
Last month, Human Rights First, along with seven partner organizations, called upon Ambassador Haley to maintain the U.S. presence on the Human Rights Council, and to increase efforts to improve the Council’s membership. The organizations noted in a letter to the ambassador that the United States is in a uniquely influential position on the Council to advance universal values and American national interests. The letter followed public statements by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the United States will leave the Council if it does not reform.