The U.S. plans to rejoin the United Nations Human Rights Council after former President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE left the organization in 2018, The Associated Press reported Sunday.
U.S. officials familiar with the decision told the AP that Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France Oversight Republicans seek testimony from Afghanistan watchdog France cancels DC gala in anger over Biden sub deal: report MORE and a senior U.S. diplomat in Geneva will announce the country’s decision to rejoin the council as a nonvoting member for this year, with the goal of becoming a full member next year.
The White House declined to comment on the matter, and the State Department did not immediately return a request for comment.
The announcement would represent the latest move by the Biden administration to reverse Trump’s isolationist agenda, in which he removed the U.S. from a number of international groups.
Trump withdrew the U.S. from the U.N. Human Rights Council almost three years ago, saying it focused too much on Israel, included too many countries accused of human rights abuses and did not make the U.S.’s requested reforms and changes. The council has issued the most critical council resolutions against Israel.
A senior U.S. official told the AP the Biden administration still wanted the council to reform but said it would advocate for change and “engage with it in a principled fashion.” The official said the organization can be “an important forum for those fighting tyranny and injustice around the world,” noting that U.S. involvement would “ensure it can live up to that potential.”
Officials also told the AP that the U.S. will press for one of the three full member seats, which Austria, Denmark and Italy now have.
Trump distanced the U.S. from international affairs by leaving the Paris climate agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNESCO and several other organizations. Biden has since brought the U.S. back to the Paris agreement and WHO.
Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyHarris to hold fundraiser for McAuliffe ahead of Virginia governor's race Allies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid Trump schedules rallies in Iowa, Georgia MORE, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under Trump, who called for the council to reform, said last month if Biden returned the U.S. to the council “it will fly in the face of our fight for human rights.”