March 6, 2007


Lantos Blasts Administration Decision Not to Take Part in United Nations Human Rights Council

Washington, DC – Tom Lantos, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement concerning the United States’ decision not to seek a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council:

“Today, in an act of unparalleled defeatism, the Administration announced that for a second year in a row, the United States will step aside to allow a cabal of military juntas, single-party states and tin-pot dictators to retain their death grip on the world’s human rights machinery.

“During the past several months, we have seen the sad and tragic results of the U.S. retreat from the new Human Rights Council. Despite the fact that the Council’s membership represents a slight improvement over the dysfunctional Human Rights Commission it replaced, it has been even more thoroughly captured by rogues like Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Pakistan, as they have aggressively seized the ground that the United States has ceded.

“This is the worst possible time for a U.S. retreat from its rightful role as the world’s champion of human rights. At a time when we are attempting to marshal the civilized world to stand up to extremism and terror, a retreat from Geneva sends exactly the wrong signal to those who are trying to defeat us. It is particularly appalling that the Administration would select the day it is releasing the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices to announce this decision. Eleanor Roosevelt surely must be turning over in her grave today.”