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Comments on America's withdrawal from Human Rights Council
June 21,2018   By:CCHRC
June 21, 2018 -- The United States has announced that it will withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council. The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called the organisation a “protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias” and “an organisation that is not worthy of its name”. The US has long called for the body to reform, saying it allows members that have been accused human rights violations. Ms Haley pointed to the involvement of countries like China, Cuba and Venezuela in her speech on Tuesday.
 
Comments
 
The CCHRC favours an open dialogue between all nations about the nature and practical application of human rights. The most basic requirement for starting and maintaining a dialogue is the existence of differences of opinion and an attitude of the participants in the dialogue of respecting those differences.
 
The goal of the dialogue is not reaching some kind of one single opinion, after which the dialogue can stop, but maintaining the dialogue to allow nations to continuously exchange opinions on concrete issues related to human rights. Such a dialogue will produce an endless stream of ideas and propositions that practitioners in the field, or politicians facing difficult decisions, can use to formulate practical solutions.
 
Running away from a dialogue means that you are no longer willing to participate in that dialogue. The CCHRC welcomes all nations to participate and regrets it when any nation withdraws, regardless the size of that nation. However, we also believe that the dialogue can continue as long as there are at least two nations willing to do so. In fact, the number of such nations is much larger than two. This means that the US decision to withdraw will not harm the dialogue and will only result in the US not being able to enjoy the fruits of the dialogue, at least not to the largest possible extent.
 
Having said this, the naming of concrete nations by the US Ambassador to the UN does violate one basic principle of the CCHRC: we do not exclude any nation from the dialogue. An individual nation can be criticised for a particular issue during the dialogue, after which that nation will have the right and opportunity to defend itself, again in a way that complies with the spirit and principles of the CCHRC. This could theoretically lead to a nation left alone without any other nation defending its actions. We believe that such a lonely position will sooner or later lead to changes, behaviour that will attract support from other nations participating in that continuous dialogue. The CCHRC is inclusive and definitely not exclusive.
 
To summarise: the CCHRC regrets the US decision to withdraw but does not see any consequence of that decision for the continuous dialogue about human rights between nations. The CCHRC will at any time welcome the return of the US. However, we sincerely hope that by that time the US attitude will be inclusive, rather than exclusive.
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