The United Nations again appears unconcerned by how seriously it is taken by the wider world. On Tuesday, the increasingly irrelevant international body voted to place China, Russia, and Cuba on its Human Rights Council, which purports to promote and protect “all human rights around the globe.”
This isn’t the first time the organization has allowed brazen human rights abusers to take critical roles on the council, but it further demonstrates the organization’s ineptitude. Will this finally be the proof that the world needs to acknowledge the group’s failure?
United Nations: Duplicity on Display
Human rights groups were not happy when the result of the U.N.’s vote was announced. Members of the organization did prevent Saudi Arabia from gaining a seat on the council, though the nation previously held a seat until 2019. According to CNBC, some analysts have intimated that this change in attitude represents “the deterioration of its image on the world stage following high profile human rights scandals including the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the detention of several women’s rights activists.”
However, the U.N.’s decision to allow China, Russia, and Cuba on the council reveals the international body’s corruption. It would be akin to the FBI hiring mafiosos as special agents. Each of these countries is guilty of committing reprehensible human rights abuses against their own citizens.
China, in particular, has come under fire because of its brutal treatment of ethnic Uyghurs in the region of Xinjiang and its oppressive National Security Law, which it has imposed on Hong Kong. According to Breitbart News, a coalition of 70 Uyghur organizations urged the U.N. not to vote in support of China’s membership.
The Uyghurs are the Muslim minority in China. Among various other vicious acts, the Chinese government has been rounding up millions of these individuals and imprisoning them in concentration camps. The Chinese Communist Party also destroyed tens of thousands of mosques and has been accused of torturing its Uyghur captives.
Cuba and Russia ran unopposed in their regional blocs, seemingly due to backroom deals. Each member is elected to three-year terms. These countries will join other oppressive states like Venezuela, Eritrea, and Libya.
Time to Divest?
In 2018, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the council, pointing to its apparent hypocrisy and its role as a sanctuary for repressive nations. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo previously called the council “a haven for dictators and the democracies that indulge them.”
After the United Nations voted again to seat human rights abusers on the council, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley castigated the organization. “This lack of standards continues to undermine the organization and demonstrates again why the United States was right to withdraw from it earlier this year,” she said.
She also called the council a “bully pulpit for human rights violators.”
President Trump has already acted against the U.N. for its apparent unwillingness to fulfill the role for which it was created. He has cut funding to the organization and withdrawn from some of its agencies. But is this enough?
The U.N. has been plagued with one scandal after another. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many developed nations are ignoring the caveats of another United Nations agency, the World Health Organization, when it comes to vaccines and other measures. Since these nations seem to already be going their own way, does the international body still have a role to play on the global stage? It’s apparent inability to address human rights suggests not. Perhaps it is time for the U.S. to fully divest itself from the United Nations and devote those wasted resources toward more worthy objectives.
Read more from Jeff Charles.