Flat White

Memo Julie Bishop: get us out of the UNHCR

21 June 2018

7:29 AM

21 June 2018

7:29 AM

Political leadership: leading the way on values with action. Doing what is right. Explaining and defending it clearly. Examples: this week, the United States withdraws from the UN Human Rights Commission; last month, the US moves its Israel Embassy to Jerusalem.

Australia has failed to follow the US into Jerusalem. Will Australia again fail to follow US moral leadership?


If the only thing that US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Hayley had said when announcing the decision had been: “For too long the Human Rights Council has been the protector of human rights abusers,” that would have been enough to warrant the decision. Among other things, Haley also attacked Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting U.S. efforts to reform the council.

Australia is famous for its sheep – but surely not sheepish behaviour in the face of evidence that the UNHRC is worse than a sham: it is an ugly benefactor of cultures and countries that harm human rights. And we want to stay a member?

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