On US withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council – we need politicians to keep talking, says Director of Jewish human rights charity

Responding to the United States’ decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council, Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of human rights charity René Cassin1, said today:

Lasting solutions to the many serious abuses of human rights worldwide will only be tackled by nations sitting down and talking – and, yes, often arguing – about the issues. Like any human institution, the UN’s Human Rights Council is far from perfect, but it does provide a forum for crucial dialogue. By turning its back, the United States risks weakening the global response to human rights violations and signals that it is not prepared to stay and argue its case for reform.

René Cassin is named after the French Jew2 who co-authored the first great international human rights document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights3. The UDHR was drawn up after the Second World War in response to the horrors of the Holocaust, and adopted by the United Nations in 1948. The Declaration was not without its controversies and critics – but the end product, reached through widespread consultation and heated debate by an international community passionately committed to learning the lessons of history, has stood the test of time.

Politics, national and international, can be difficult. But the millions on the receiving end of human rights violations need politicians to keep talking. So, we welcome Boris Johnson’s statement today that the UK is “committed to working to strengthen the Council from within” and “will continue to support and champion it”.

For further information or comment, contact Mia Hasenson-Gross, via mia.hasenson-gross@renecassin.org or 020 7443 5134 or 07939 130 286

Notes for editors

1. The charity René Cassin – ‘the Jewish voice for human rights’ – is named after the French-Jewish co-drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For more information visit www.renecassin.org

2. Monsieur René Cassin (1887-1976) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in drafting the UDHR https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1968/cassin-bio.htmlNotes for editors

3.Universal Declaration of Human Rights – adopted by the UN General Assembly, Paris, 9-10 December 1948 http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of René Cassin, on Wednesday 20 June, 2018. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/

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On US withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council – we need politicians to keep talking, says Director of Jewish human rights charity