Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has issued this statement in response to the Obama Administration’s announcement that the United States will seek a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council:

“I strongly support the administration's decision to engage with the United Nations Human Rights Council by running for a seat this year. This global forum has become increasingly dysfunctional and politicized, with virtually no guidance from the United States.

“For too long the United States has sat on the sidelines. In fact, during the past several years the Council’s pathological focus on demonizing Israel has intensified to the point that genuine human rights crises in Zimbabwe, Sudan and other countries have essentially escaped scrutiny. The time is ripe to take a more positive and active role in challenging the Council and in speaking out about genuine human rights atrocities. In two years, the Human Rights Council faces a mandated five-year review. By participating in the process as a member of the Council, the Obama Administration can begin working to bring about a much-needed overhaul.”

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