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UN Human Rights Council

  •  February 24, 2020 
For the last decade, Western democracies and human-rights defenders have been locked in a tense struggle with authoritarian great powers at the United Nations. Since 2009, Russia and China have waged a highly successful campaign to dismantle the international human-rights system, particularly through the Human Rights Council. The two countries have made strides especially …
  •  January 29, 2020 
President Trump was at the United Nations last fall telling world leaders that “the future does not belong to globalists” when Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the United States House of Representatives would launch an inquiry into his possible impeachment. It was the same General Assembly whose derisive laughter at Trump’s boast a year before …
  •  January 25, 2020 
Kelley Currie
The naming of Jonathan Moore, a senior United States Foreign Service officer, to the position of Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, signals that in the United Nations’ 75th year, the Trump administration is getting serious. The move doesn’t mean that the US is increasing support for the organization, of course, or …
  •  December 5, 2019 
As protection of human rights seems to be sliding everywhere, the international human-rights system has responded by focusing on national implementation, to ensure that states’ international commitments are translated into meaningful changes felt by people on the ground. While often overlooked, parliaments can provide a critical link between global agreements and domestic progress on …
  •  November 17, 2019 
Twenty-three nations, including Britain, the United States, Germany, France and Japan, slammed China at the United Nations recently, citing its persecution of Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang province. “We call on the Chinese government to uphold its national laws and international obligations and commitments to respect human rights, including freedom of religion or …
  •  October 2, 2019 
Agnès Callamard
Exactly a year after Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi-born, American-based journalist, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnès Callamard, remains categorical: UN Secretary-General António Guterres can and should do more about the murder, and so should member states. “I am asking the …
  •  July 29, 2019 
After the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just voted to place 13 Trump administration nominees across diverse positions in the State Department, Senate ranking member Robert Menendez is using another nomination as a negotiating chip to demand details on two controversial White House migration pacts with Guatemala and Mexico. Senator Menendez (D-N.J.) is blocking the …
  •  July 7, 2019 
A group of several hundred international human-rights lawyers reacted to a first-person opinion piece published by the United Nations expert on torture that “had a problematic definition of rape,” according to the lawyers’ open letter, published on July 1, expressing their legal views. The exchange between the human-rights experts and proponents and the UN …
  •  June 26, 2019 
Andrew Bremberg
“I am pro-life, I believe that all human life is sacred, and that human life begins at conception,” Andrew Bremberg told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently. Asked if rape victims should have access to abortion, he replied, “I don’t believe that abortion is a moral solution to any problem.” Nominated by …
  •  June 19, 2019 
Kelly Knight Craft
Kelly Knight Craft, Donald Trump’s pick to be the next United States ambassador to the United Nations, raised eyebrows in her June 19 Senate confirmation hearing by putting some space between her views on global climate change and those of the president. But Trump needn’t worry that she might end up threatening her boss’s …
  •  June 9, 2019 
Women from North Darfur performing a traditional dance
The people of Sudan finally ousted President Omar al-Bashir from power, on April 11, 2019. The people of Sudan must now transfer al-Bashir to The Hague to stand trial in the International Criminal Court, which, more than 10 years ago, indicted him for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur — including …
  •  May 27, 2019 
Progress in recognizing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people at the United Nations in New York and in Geneva may seem detached from the realities faced by LGBTQ people in the Middle East and North Africa, or Mena, region. Activists there, however, are navigating the UN human-rights system as …
  •  March 14, 2019 
Every year, 25 million women across the world are forced to obtain unsafe abortions. The United States, through its foreign policy, is deeply complicit in the violation of these women’s right to life and equality under international law. International human-rights frameworks guard against these violations and hold the US and other countries accountable. The International …

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