The United States has told the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) it sees the hope and promise of nations, like Sri Lanka and Burma, taking stock of the aspirations of their citizens and setting out on a new journey to meet those aspirations.
US Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, speaking at the UNHRC in Geneva said that it is important for the Council to remain engaged with countries like Sri Lanka, as the Governments confront their legacies of human rights violations and address the challenges that remain.
Antony J. Blinken said that the Council must also continue to act on issues of anti-discrimination and inclusion at a time when people are targets of violence simply because of who they are—because of their sexual orientation, their gender identity, political beliefs, or their religion.
The United States says it is greatly encouraged by the work of the Council, but added that the work is undermined by its persistent bias against Israel.
“No other nation has a stand-alone agenda item on this Council’s agenda. So long as this Council persists in its efforts to delegitimize and isolate Israel, it will be profoundly limited in the good it can accomplish. Under President Obama, we have worked tirelessly to protect Israel’s legitimacy on the world stage and fight for its full and equal participation in UN institutions. We will continue to do so,” US Deputy Secretary of State said.
Antony J. Blinken noted in the face of global human rights challenges, the Council has acted to defend civil society and protect space for individuals to speak their minds freely, hold their leaders accountable, join together in peaceful protest, and develop solutions to problems that Governments alone cannot tackle. (Colombo Gazette)