New US Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds first press briefing at the State Department in Washington, US. File/Reuters
The United States will seek election to the UN Human Rights Council later this year, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday, marking the Biden administration’s latest international re-engagement.
Blinken, addressing the council by recorded video, said that President Joseph Biden’s administration would work to eliminate what he called the Geneva forum’s “disproportionate focus” on US ally Israel.
Under former President Donald Trump, the United States quit the council in June 2018 but the Biden government returned as an observer earlier this month.
“I’m pleased to announce the United States will seek election to the Human Rights Council for the 2022-24 term. We humbly ask for the support of all UN member states in our bid to return to a seat in this body,” Blinken said.
Annual elections for three-year membership on the 47-member council are due to be held at the UN General Assembly in October. Britain, China and Russia are among current members.
“As the United States re-engages, we urge the Human Rights Council to look at how it conducts its business. That includes its disproportionate focus on Israel,” Blinken said.
The council, set up in 2006, has a stand-alone item on the Palestinian territories on its agenda every session, the only issue with such treatment, which both Democratic and Republican administrations have opposed.
“If Iran comes back into strict compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, the United States will do the same and is prepared to engage in discussions with Iran toward that end,” a joint statement from the four nations said.
In a tweet accompanied by a three-and-a-half minute video, Biden said giving Trump four more years in power would be extremely dangerous and "fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are."
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet voiced concern over the move by the administration of President Donald Trump last month to allow migrant children and their families to be detained for unlimited periods.
Nineteen of the Democrats running for president were in New Hampshire for the state party convention on Saturday — an event that provides an important chance for them to woo political power brokers in the first-in-the nation primary state.
MoHAP also noted that an additional 1,922 individuals had fully recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 597,008.
The HMS Defender "was given a preliminary warning that weapons would be used if the state borders of the Russian Federation were violated. It did not react to the warning," the ministry said, adding that the ship left Russian waters after the shots were fired.
The video spread like wildfire on social media, and users expressed their admiration for the spontaneity of the soldier, who was keen to document the moments of his parachute landing in order to make his mother happy.