Following a searing speech by US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley in which she called the UNHRC a “hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” the right-wing Danish People’s Party expressed support for the US stance and urged Denmark to follow suit, Danish Radio reported.
“There are no human rights in that council. It’s a complete farce that is in the pocket of the most fundamentalist Arab states,” Danish People’s Party deputy leader Søren Espersen said.
Espersen reiterated the US’ repeated criticism of the UNHRC being “anti-Israel,” while turning a blind eye to human rights abuse in Arab member-states. Espersen accused the council of “Israel bashing” and ventured that the cause of human rights would be better served if the council was abolished as such.
“The fundamentalist Arab states can boast they are members of the council to deceive their own people, so I think it would be better for our freedoms if the council was abolished — and as quickly as possible,” Espersen said.
The Danish People’s Party intends to set forth a motion to pull Denmark out of the organization, despite Copenhagen having announced its candidacy for a UNHRC seat for 2019-2021.
“We should do our utmost to help people gain their freedoms, but not through the UNHRC.
By contrast, the US decision to leave the UNHRC has been lamented by Denmark’s Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen of the Liberal Alliance.
Regret US withdrawal from Human Rights Council. The council needs reform. US is an important partner in this, and in defending human rights, freedom and democracy. Encourage US to continue engaging in the efforts for a better HRC and the promotion and protection of human rights
— Anders Samuelsen (@anderssamuelsen) June 20, 2018
The UN Human Rights Council was established in 2006, replacing the UN Human Rights Commission. The Council is tasked with promoting and protecting human rights and freedoms, and it may initiate investigations against and criticize countries that commit human rights violations.
However, the council itself has repeatedly come under fire from other human rights organizations and has been accused of being dominated by countries with a less than impeccable human rights history. The UNHRC currently has 47 members, among them 13 from Africa, 13 from Asia, eight from Latin America and the Caribbean, seven from Western Europe and six from Eastern Europe. The members sit for three years and can be re-elected for two periods.