Cuba, China and Russia were elected to the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday – a move the United States called a “mockery” of the institution’s purpose and proof that Washington had reason to leave the board in 2018.
The three countries, all with a history of authoritarianism and human rights abuses, were elected by the United Nations General Assembly, along with countries like Bolivia, France, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Senegal, Uzbekistan and the United Kingdom.
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Saudi Arabia was on the ballot but failed to garner enough support to win a seat.
The United States left the Geneva-based council in June 2018, with then-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley describing him as “a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political prejudices ”.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the election “only further validates the United States’ decision to step down and use other venues and opportunities to protect and promote universal human rights.”
UN Ambassador Kelly Craft said he “validates [Trump’s] decision to leave this deeply corrupted body.
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“With China, Russia, Cuba and Venezuela as members, the Council does not care about its purpose and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” she said.
Last year, the United Nations General Assembly elected Libya, Sudan and Venezuela to the Council. Craft called the election of Venezuela, a country plagued by poverty and human rights violations, “embarrassment.”
The United States has sought to combat human rights violations in China in particular, drawing attention to Beijing’s persecution of religious minorities in Xinjiang province and its crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong. It has imposed a number of sanctions on Chinese officials.
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“Our commitments are clearly spelled out in the UN Declaration and in our Action Report,” Pompeo said. “The United States is a force for good in the world and always will be.”
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Meanwhile, the Chinese mission welcomed the move, saying it “sincerely appreciates the strong support from all UN members.”
The Communist regime then promised to “work with other members to advance the work of the Council for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.”
In July, 53 countries at the UN, led by Cuba, voted in favor of China’s National Security Law – a law that formed the basis of the crackdown on the people of Hong Kong.
Ben Evansky of Fox News contributed to this report.