Boris Johnson Rebukes UN HRC

Boris Johnson, the UK’s Foreign Minister, addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today. First he acknowledged the value that Britain attaches to the Council, saying:

“Britain considers this Council to be part of the rules-based international system
in which we believe and that we strive to protect.”

But then he immediately went on to rebuke the council for having a regular agenda item focused on Israel, adding:

“And I will say that we share the view that a dedicated agenda item
focused solely on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is disproportionate
and damaging to the cause of peace and unless things change, we shall move next year
to vote against all resolutions introduced under Item 7.”

Boris Johnson addresses the UN HRCClick on this image to watch the video of Boris` speech.

Thus he set out UK policy clearly, that if things do not change they will vote against resolutions put forward under item 7 on the agenda.

Moving on into the main part of his speech, he continued:

“But I stress that that does not mean that we in the UK are blind to the value of this Council
 – including the work it could do on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under the right agenda item –
and we support its emphasis on freedom of religion and expression
and the empowerment of women.”

It remains to be seen whether this stance from the UK will encourage the USA to continue to participate in the UNHRC, or carry out their threat to withdraw because of the Council`s bias against Israel.

 

UPDATE Wednesday 20th June:

The UK’s statement came too late to persuade the USA to continue participating. On Tuesday Nikki Haley, their ambassador to the United Nations, explained that:

“Earlier this year, as it has in previous years, the Human Rights Council
passed five resolutions against Israel — more than the number
passed against North Korea, Iran and Syria combined.

"This disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel is clear proof
that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights.”