The United Nations is bound by its charter to foster “International cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all.”
That was the purpose under which the U.N. Human Rights Council was formed. But the truth is, the Human Rights Council doesn’t deserve its name.
As we look at the membership of the council today, we see nations that betray these timeless principles upon which this institution was founded. Today, the United Nations Human Rights Council actually attracts and welcomes many of the worst human rights violators in the world. A clear majority of the Human Rights Council’s members fail to meet even the most basic human rights standards.
Cuba sits on the Human Rights Council, an oppressive regime that has repressed its people and jailed political opponents for more than half a century.
Venezuela sits on the Human Rights Council, a dictatorship that undermines democracy at every turn, imprisons political opponents, and as we speak is advancing policies that worsen deprivation and poverty that’s costing the lives of innocent men, women, and children.
This body must reform the Human Rights Council’s membership and its operation.(Read full text of Remarks by the Vice President to the UN Security Council)