Rep. Roy leads 44 House Republicans in urging President Biden to keep America out of the ‘morally bankrupt’ U.N. Human Rights Council

February 5, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON — On Friday, Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21) along with 44 of his House colleagues sent a letter to President Biden calling on him not to rejoin U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHCR).

The letter explains that, since its inception in 2006, has failed at its core purpose of defending human rights and has instead routinely ignored major human rights atrocities.

“President Trump was right to withdraw the United States from the corrupt U.N. Human Rights Council. This so-called ‘human rights council’ systemically shields some of the world’s worst human rights abusers from accountability and gives countries like China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Eritrea, Pakistan, and Somalia an international platform to speak on human rights,” the letter reads. “President Biden should follow President Trump’s example and not seek membership in this morally bankrupt council.”

Cosigners to the letter are Reps Joe Wilson (SC-02), Scott Perry (PA-10), Yvette Herrell (NM-02), Ted Budd (NC-13), Randy Weber(T-14), Mike Rogers (AL-03), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Michael Cloud (TX-27), Andy Harris (MD-01), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Jody Hice (GA-10), Ann Wagner (MO-02), Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Lauren Boebert (CO-03), Mark Green (TN-07), Scott DesJarlias (TN-04), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), James Baird (IN-04), Greg Steube (FL-17), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Brian Babin (TX-36), Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Thomas Tiffany (WI-07), Lance Gooden (TX-05), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Barry Moore (AL-91), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Mike Garcia (CA-25), Daniel Webster (FL-11), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Jason Smith (MO-08), Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Beth Van Duyne (TX-24), Dan Bishop (NC-09), Kat Cammack (FL-03), Roger Williams (TX-25), Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), Rick Allen (GA-12), and Steve Chabot (OH-1)

Full text of the letter is available at the link here or below:

President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Biden,

We write to express our concerns with your commitment to rejoin the United Nations Human Rights Council. Since its founding in 2006, the Human Rights Council has failed to seriously advance the basic tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has instead bolstered some of the most oppressive regimes in the world. The United States should not grant this body any further credibility with its membership.

Created to replace the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights Council has proven to be even more problematic and corrupt. The Human Rights Council routinely ignores some of the world’s worst atrocities and grants membership to countries with egregious human rights violations. Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World report rates over half of the 47-member body as “not free” or “partly free.” Giving countries like China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Eritrea, Pakistan, and Somalia an international platform to speak on human rights is unacceptable.

Rather than focusing on China’s systematic oppression of millions of Uyghur Muslims or the inhumane treatment of women and ethnic and religious minorities across the Middle East, the Council disproportionately targets the State of Israel. Israel is the only country to be a permanent item on the Council’s agenda. This past year, the 43rd Human Rights Council session adopted five resolutions condemning Israel, and only one each targeting Iran, Syria, and North Korea. Unfortunately, this systematic bias is not new. From 2006-2019, the Council adopted one resolution on Venezuela, nine on Eritrea, nine on Iran, 12 on North Korea, 32 on Syria, and 85 condemning Israel. There were zero resolutions targeting China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Cuba or Pakistan, countries that repeatedly violate the rights of women, religious and ethnic minorities, journalists, and political dissidents. It would be morally reprehensible for the United States to become party to a body that systematically shields the world’s worst regimes from accountability.

We believe President Trump was right to withdraw the United States from the Human Rights Council. The United States’ participation in this body has not led to any meaningful reforms. Seeking membership in this body will only grant legitimacy to dictators and condone the horrendous treatment of one of our greatest allies, the State of Israel. It is clear that this body does not advance our national interests nor reflect our American values. We respectfully request the United States not seek membership in the U.N. Human Rights Council.