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Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently announced that the U.S. is offering a visit to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism as well as to the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues.
Blinken said in a statement Tuesday that the U.S. “intends to issue a formal, standing invitation to all UN experts who report and advise on thematic human rights issues. As a first step, we have reached out to offer an official visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism and the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues,” the secretary of state noted.
“Responsible nations must not shrink from the scrutiny of their human rights record; rather, they should acknowledge it with the intent to improve. I urge all UN member states to join the United States in this effort and confront the scourge of racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia. Because when all people – regardless of their race or ethnicity – are free to live up to their full potential, our collective security is strengthened,” Blinken said.
The invitation to scrutinize the U.S. while nations around the globe flagrantly violate basic human rights did not sit well with Nikki Haley, who previously served as U.S. ambassador to the UN during part of Trump’s White House tenure.
“China has 1M Uyghurs in concentration camps, Cuba is beating protesters, and Venezuela is torturing political prisoners. Yet Biden’s Secretary of State is inviting the UN to investigate human rights in the United States — the freest, fairest country in the world. This is INSANE,” Haley tweeted.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, a child of Cuban immigrants who has served as a senator from Florida since 2011, also criticized the decision.
“@SecBlinken instead of asking the @UN to come here & tell us how ‘racist’ America is, why don’t you ask them to go to #Cuba where an evil socialist regime storm into peoples homes, beats the crap out of them & then drags them away?” Rubio tweeted.
.@SecBlinken instead of asking the @UN to come here & tell us how “racist” America is, why don’t you ask them to go to #Cuba where an evil socialist regime storms into peoples homes,beats the crap out of them & then drags them away?#SOSCubaLibre https://t.co/sTEmsvDT8L pic.twitter.com/7hSYPCZK0s
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 14, 2021
According to a bio posted on the website of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “E. Tendayi Achiume is the fifth Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”
Her bio states that she “is currently a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, and a research associate of the African Center for Migration and Society (ACMS), at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.”
Fernand de Varennes is the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues. According to his bio, he “is Extraordinary Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria (South Africa), Adjunct Professor at the National University of Ireland-Galway (Ireland), and Cheng Yu Tung Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong (China).”