Well, that didn’t take long. Much has been made of the Trump Administration’s flagging commitment to human rights as a core tenet of United States foreign policy, but we may have just seen the first concrete setback for U.S. interests as a result of the Administration’s apparent ambivalence about defending democratic values and international institutions.
On Wednesday evening at the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Cancún, Mexico, the United States’ candidate lost an election to serve on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Doug Cassel, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, received just 16 votes of a possible 34 from OAS member states. While the election was competitive—with six candidates for three seats—the result came as a surprise to most IACHR watchers and represented a stinging defeat for U.S. diplomacy.
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