Senate Confirms Keith Harper as New U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Council
Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today welcomes the Senate’s confirmation of Keith Harper as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Council. The Senate’s vote to fill this key human rights post will strengthen the United States’ ability to fight for universal values and American interests at the Council.
“In order for the United States to show international leadership, we need to push for human rights through every channel available to us; this includes being represented at the Human Rights Council at the highest level,” said Human Rights First’s Robyn Lieberman.
In a letter issued last month, Human Rights First along with more than 20 leading organizations working to promote human rights urged the Senate to take action to fill this key human rights position, arguing that “with only five sessions left in the second U.S. term as a Council member, it is critical that the U.S. delegation be well-positioned to guide and lead negotiations,” noting that “the outcome of the debates likely will be influenced by whether the U.S. delegation will have ambassadorial leadership.”
The upcoming session of the Human Rights Council will tackle several priority issues for the U.S. government, including the rights of LGBT people, the faltering democratic transition in Egypt and reform movement in Bahrain, and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Harper was confirmed today in a bipartisan voice vote of 52-42.