SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

20 June 2018

US WITHDRAWAL FROM UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

Labor is disappointed by the US decision to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

It’s entirely a matter for the US which international bodies it chooses to be a member of. However, the absence of a nation looked to as global leader risks emboldening those who do not share our support for democracy and human rights.

We acknowledge the concerns voiced by the US in making its decision. At times the UNHRC has taken decisions which Australia has also opposed.

But Labor believes it is better to remain engaged in international organisations like the UNHRC in order to promote our values and protect our national interests.

That is why Labor welcomed Australia’s appointment to the United Nations Human Rights Council. As the Foreign Minister said when Australia took up its position;

“It is in our national interest to shape the work of the Human Rights Council and uphold the international rules-based order.”

Labor is a long standing and consistent advocate for human rights and civil liberties. We will continue to pursue effective human rights diplomacy that supports international and regional security in Australia’s national interest.

We will also continue to work closely with key allies and partners, such as the US, through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms to promote and protect human rights around the world.

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.