A general view during a vote at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the conflict between Israel and Hamas at UN headquarters in New York, October 16, 2023

US Boycotts UN Human Rights Council Social Forum Chaired By Iran

Friday, 11/03/2023

The United States has announced that it will not participate in the Social Forum of the UN Human Rights Council as Iran is scheduled to chair the meeting.

“We categorically refuse to sit, converse, or engage in any discussion on human rights chaired by Iran,” read a statement by Michèle Taylor, US permanent representative to the Human Rights Council, at the start of the Social Forum in Geneva.

She rejected as “absurd” and “unacceptable” the Iranian regime’s chairing of the Social Forum as the country itself is implicated in “persistent and flagrant human rights abuses,” including the murder of over 500 civilians during the last year's Women, Life, Freedom protests.

Referring to Armita Geravand and Mahsa Amini, the Iranian women who lost their lives after being assaulted by the regime’s morality police, Taylor stipulated that “state-sponsored violence” is “a daily reality for the Iranian people, especially for women and girls,” amidst the regime's tightening of oppressive hijab laws.

“It is an affront to the collective conscience of the global community that Iran’s officials occupy any leadership role within the corridors of the UN, especially on matters related to human rights,” she added.

Taylor also questioned the very existence of the Social Forum, saying that Washington was against its creation in 2015 for its “limited utility” and “additional costs.”

On October 31, Narges Mohammadi, the imprisoned Iranian Nobel peace laureate, dismissed Tehran’s leadership in the Social Forum as “perplexing and disheartening” in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

She urged the UN to remove Tehran from the position, saying the Islamic Republic is “a gender apartheid regime” and “a suppressor of civil society.”

In May 2023, UN Watch, an independent human rights organization, also submitted a resolution to the UN to overturn Iran's appointment as the chair of the Social Forum.

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