New POMED Policy Brief: A Multilateral Approach to Promoting Human Rights in the Middle East
As protests continue across the Middle East, the question of US foreign policy with respect to the region looms large. In POMED’s latest policy brief, Brookings scholars Ted Piccone and Emily Alinikoff address the US approach to the United Nations Human Rights Council, particularly as it pertains to the Middle East. Click here for the full text, and click here to sign up to receive future briefs via email.
The Obama administration joined the UN Human Rights Council in 2009 as a means to promote human rights through a multilateral mechanism as well as to strengthen the imperfect body from within. In the brief, Piccone and Alinikoff focus on the UN’s system of Special Procedures, a unique and effective mechanism which provides independent, periodic, and on the ground scrutiny of a country’s human rights record. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have not cooperated well with the UN Special Procedures. Nonetheless, Special Procedures have had some success in changing states’ behavior. Piccone and Alinikoff argue that the United States should remain actively engaged in the Council in order to strengthen the Special Procedures and to work to address the body’s flaws. This includes challenging the candidacy of any country that has a poor record of cooperation with the Council’s mechanisms for membership on the Human Rights Council.