From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : UN HRC
Mains level : US policies revision after regime change
The Biden administration is set to reengage with the much-maligned UN Human Rights Council that former Donald Trump withdrew from almost three years ago.
Try this PYQ:
Q.Consider the following:
- Right to education.
- Right to equal access to public service.
- Right to food.
Which of the above is/are Human Right/Human Rights under “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) Only 1
(c) 1, 2 and 3
(d) Only 3
Why did the US pulled-out earlier?
- Trump pulled out of the world body’s main human rights agency in 2018 due to its disproportionate focus on Israel.
- Israel had received by far the largest number of critical council resolutions against any country.
- The Trump administration took issue with the body’s membership, which currently includes China, Cuba, Eritrea, Russia and Venezuela, all of which have been accused of human rights abuses.
About UN Human Rights Council
- The UNHRC describes itself as “an inter-governmental body within the UN system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.
- It addresses situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.
- The first session took place from June 19-30, 2006, three months after the Council was created by UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251 on March 15 that year.
- The UNHRC has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year.
- The HRC replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR).
- The Human Rights Council holds no fewer than three regular sessions a year, for a total of at least 10 weeks.
- The meetings take place for four weeks in March, for three weeks in June, and for another three weeks in September.
- The sessions are held at the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland.
- If one-third of the Member States so request, the HRC can decide at any time to hold a special session to address human rights violations and emergencies.
- The Council is made up of 47 UN Member States, which are elected by the UNGA through a direct and secret ballot.
- The General Assembly takes into account the contribution of the candidate states to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as their voluntary pledges and commitments in this regard.
- Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.
- As of January 1, 2019, 114 UN Member States have served on the HRC. Both India and Pakistan are on this list.
- The HRC has a Bureau of one President and four Vice-Presidents, representing the five regional groups. They serve for a year, in accordance with the Council’s annual cycle.
- African States: 13 seats
- Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats
- Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats
- Western European and other States: 7 seats
- Eastern European States: 6 seats