Ros-Lehtinen: Granting Cuba, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam Seats on Human Rights Council Puts UN’s Hypocrisy Front & Center

From the offices of U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL):

Granting Cuba, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam a Seat on Human Rights Council Puts UN’s Hypocrisy Front and Center; Further Illustrates Need for Drastic Reforms Within that Body, Says Ros-Lehtinen

“The United States should immediately withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council and cease to fund any of its activities until it begins to act in defense of those who need protection.” 

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement on the United Nations General Assembly vote admitting several regimes that violate human rights, including Cuba, China, Russia, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia to the UN Human Rights Council. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“Members of the UN Human Rights Council are supposed to ‘uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights,’ yet when the General Assembly grants China, Russia, Cuba, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia seats on the council, it is obvious that hypocrisy rules the day in the UN. In China, the regime continues to censor the press, jail prisoners of conscience and targets anyone who speaks out against the regimes abuses. In Russia, members of the LGBT community are discriminated against and barred from fully participating in society, and new repressive legislation has been passed in recent months that stamps out a fledgling civil society. In the Socialist Republic of Vietnam people are not free to practice their religion, and trafficking in persons and the sexual exploitation of children is rampant. And in Saudi Arabia there has been a crackdown on women drivers and human rights advocates are regularly detained and punished for defending basic freedoms.

“Adding insult to injury to the millions who continue to have their fundamental human rights violated throughout the world is seeing Cuba – a State Sponsor of Terrorism and a systematic and flagrant violator of human rights – also be granted a seat again on the council. The Castro regime continues to blatantly deny the Cuban people their human rights through intimidation, harassment, beatings and frequent unjust detentions. For example, today a young rapper called El Critico who dared to criticize the regime is on the verge of death as he continues a hunger strike in prison, and this past Sunday marked another day of intimidation and aggression by Castro regime thugs against the peaceful Ladies in White as they again marched to and from church to pray for the release of their loved ones.  

“The UN has long strayed from the ideals of its Charter and the fact that the General Assembly admitted these blatant human rights abusers to the very body that is designed to protect human rights reaffirms the brokenness of this international body and its desperate need for reform. The United States should immediately withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council and cease to fund any of its activities until it begins to act in defense of those who need protection.”

 NOTE: Earlier this year, Ros-Lehtinen introduced H.R. 3155, the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2013. The bill changes the funding mechanism from an assessed contributions method to a voluntary basis and gives the UN two years after the bill’s enactment date to phase in this reform before the U.S. is required to withhold funds.