June 15, 2020

U.N. Human Rights Council Resumes With ‘Urgent Debate’ On Alleged U.S. ‘Systemic Racism’

The United Nations Human Rights Council is meeting Monday in Geneva for the first time in three months after COVID-19 lockdowns. The global body has prioritized the issue of alleged “systemic racism” and police brutality in the U.S. as one of their first orders of business to tackle on their first day back in session.

The decision to discuss the topic was motivated by a letter sent by a number of African leaders, including Burkina Faso diplomat Dieudonne Desire Sougouri, coordinator of the African Group, who formally requested a debate on the subject Monday, according to reports.

“The death of George Floyd is unfortunately not an isolated incident,” Dieudonne Desire Sougouri wrote in his letter to the Council, adding that “The numbers of previous cases of unarmed people of African descent who met the same fate because of uncontrolled police violence are legion.”

The U.S. left the Human Rights Council in 2018. At the time, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained the Trump administration’s justification for the move, describing that the countries on the Council “say one thing and do another.”

“In some cases, states that seek to subvert this institution’s noble aims have hijacked the very systems that are supposed to advance them,” President Trump said during his 2017 address before the U.N. General Assembly. “For example, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council.”

Trump added, “The United States is one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 percent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes. The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but, to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it.”

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