President Trump apparently decided not only not to renominate the existing U.S. member of a U.N. committee fighting racial discrimination, but also decided not to nominate anyone else either, so the U.S. will no longer serve on the committee. This move appears to show, yet again, the blatant disregard and disrespect Trump has for international organizations as well as a lack of concern for the issue of racial discrimination.
The existing U.S. member of the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was Gay McDougall, a human rights lawyer who was nominated by President Obama and who had served on the committee since 2015. McDougall indicated, according to Politico, that she had been assured by the Trump administration that she would be renominated to the 18-member committee, but just days after she received that reassurance, the administration reversed its position. Now, President Trump has shown what some have described as an obsessive interest in undoing anything and everything from the Obama administration, so one might imagine that he would want to replace McDougall with someone else as part of his dislike for anything and anyone associated with President Obama, but Trump went a step further by deciding not to nominate anyone at all. The deadline for nominating such a replacement has already passed, so it is too late now for Trump to change his mind and do so. According to The Hill:
President Trump reportedly will not nominate anyone to a United Nations committee on racial discrimination, despite blocking the renomination of former President Obama’s pick. Citing an unidentified State Department official, Politico reported Saturday that the White House blocked the renomination of human rights lawyer Gay McDougall to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The official told the news outlet that the Trump administration did not nominate a replacement in time for the deadline, “[cementing] the narrative that the Americans just don’t care about these kinds of things anymore.” … The committee on racial discrimination, which meets three times a year, is responsible for monitoring a 1960s convention on eliminating global racial discrimination. … The reported decision not to nominate anyone to the committee marks the president’s latest apparent rebuke of international bodies.
An unnamed Trump administration official confirmed to Politico that Trump would not be nominating anyone to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, but then said, according to The Hill, that Trump’s decision “in no way diminishes our global leadership on efforts to eliminate racial discrimination.” It doesn’t? Of course it does. This move that in effect withdraws the U.S. from a United Nations committee devoted to eliminating racial discrimination very clearly shows that ending racial discrimination is not a priority to the Trump administration and the U.S. under its stewardship is most certainly losing ground as a global leader on the subject. Trump’s decision fits in with his racist immigration policies, his failure to condemn white supremacist attacks, and his saying there were “very fine people on both sides” at the Charlottesville Unite the Right white supremacist/white nationalist rally that left one counterprotester dead and dozens of others injured. So this decision may not come as a tremendous surprise, but it is still a grave disappointment.