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Oxfam Criticizes US for Leaving UN Human Rights Council


In reaction to the Trump administration leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council, Abby Maxman, president of Oxfam America, made the following statement:

“The United States leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council is shortsighted and will have profound consequences for our international standing and for America’s legacy on human rights.

“We at Oxfam know that we cannot fight poverty without justice. Surely the Trump administration must know that international peace, security, and prosperity are strengthened when human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected and protected?

“Diplomacy is not a zero-sum game. Creating lasting, positive change for people around the world requires a long-term commitment to human rights. But as children are being ripped from their parents’ arms at the US border and domestic violence survivors are being told that their suffering is not worthy of asylum in the US, the Trump administration seems to have determined that it has more to gain by dismantling human rights protections for some than raising the bar for everyone.

“Especially at this time of unprecedented global crisis—with more people forced to flee their homes than any time since World War II, inequality reaching staggering heights, and the effects of climate change threatening to alter the very face of this planet we all call home—we must commit to solving global problems together with global partners. The United States can achieve a great deal of this agenda as a partner or none of it as an antagonist.

“As a rights-based humanitarian and development organization, we know firsthand the challenges that exist within the international system, but we believe that positive US influence can help lead renewal at institutions like the UN for the better.

“Seventy years ago, Eleanor Roosevelt led the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the US has been championing the protection of human rights, the promotion of rights-based international institutions and the rule of law ever since. To walk away from the Council will betray this legacy and the system of global cooperation that it has helped create.”

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