Tillerson tells UN Human Rights Council: Reform or US will leave
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote in a letter to nine nonprofit groups this week that the U.S. will leave the U.N. Human Rights Council unless the organization undertakes "considerable reform."
The UNHRC may be the silliest organization in the U.N. To allow countries like Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, and China to sit in judgment on any country's human rights record is beyond absurd. Somehow, the UNHRC never gets around to examining the human rights record of most of those states and, instead, concentrates its fire on the U.S. and Israel – two of the most liberal, tolerant democracies in the world.
"While it may be the only such organization devoted to human rights, the Human Rights Council requires considerable reform in order for us to continue to participate," he wrote in a letter to nine nonprofit organizations this week, according to Foreign Policy.
Tillerson told the U.N. advocates and human rights groups that the U.S. "continues to evaluate the effectiveness" of the council but is skeptical about being in a group with nations such as China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which have poor human rights records, Foreign Policy reported.
Tillerson added that the U.S. would keep participating in the 47-member council's ongoing session while U.S. officials would "reiterate our strong principled objection to the Human Rights Council's biased agenda against Israel."
Multiple State Department aides told Foreign Policy that U.S. withdrawal from the council is not imminent but remains a real possibility.
"If they don't make these reforms, we're going to question the value of our membership," a senior aide to Tillerson said. "We're not taking withdrawal off the table. Our aim is to fix the organization."
Foreign Policy noted Tillerson was responding to a Feb. 9 letter from the nine groups including the Better World Campaign and Freedom House, among others.
The collection argued the U.S. could better help Israel by remaining on the council and added the organization has helped hold the world's worst human rights abusers accountable.
"American leadership in the Council over the last seven years has helped shift that dynamic," they wrote, referencing the Obama administration's move to join the U.N. council in 2009.
It's not that many nations on the UNHRC do not live up to human rights standards established by the Western democracies. They don't even live up to standards written down in the U.N. charter! It's long past time for the U.S. to stand up to this bullying by human rights abusers who use their seats on the UNHRC to lecture their betters.
The Trump administration is looking at the entire U.S. contribution to the U.N. and will demand reforms across the board. Enough is enough. Finally, an administration in Washington is willing to stand up to the international thugs, the hypocrites, and the cynical manipulators at the U.N., who, as a matter of course, oppose U.S. policies.
Currently, the U.S. funds about 22% of the U.N.'s budget. What makes this so outrageous is that the financial contributions from larger nations is only a fraction of what the U.S. pays:
You will note that China pays about two thirds less than the U.S. despite it having a population three times our size. And the U.S. pays nearly seven times more than Russia, who is a constant irritant of the U.S. on the Security Council and twice our size in population.
Incredibly, India is ranked 24th in payments to the U.N. despite a population of more than a billion people.
Oil states flush with cash pay a pittance. Many U.N. member states are in arrears, not paying anything for years. Cutting a few billion dollars from the U.S. contribution only means that the U.N. will be forced to assess payments in a more equitable manner.
And if they don't? Leftists, one-world government supporters, and human rights groups will blame the U.S. for "stupid and cruel" cuts to a useless organization. But the White House doesn't answer to the rest of the world. It answers to the American taxpayer.
And it's about time someone stood up to the U.N. bullies on taxpayers' behalf.