In a statement last Wednesday marking the “return” of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Secretary of State Antony Blinken disclosed that President Joe Biden’s administration is placing democracy and human rights at the center of American foreign policy.

But the cat is out of the bag. The US is in relative decline and there is a resource crunch. There is an absence of a positive vision for humanity, as the country struggles with its own demons.

The dramatic events in American society and politics in the recent past badly exposed the country as a sham democracy with an abominable record of racism and appalling inequality where the top 0.1% of the population hold roughly the same share of the country’s wealth as the bottom 90%.

But the resurrection of American exceptionalism will have no takers, and the US, lacking the capacity and the moral authority to advance a unifying agenda in the international arena, is assembling a toolkit for its diplomacy, with geopolitical objectives.

The potential of the UN Human Rights Council ought to be directed at the raging Covid-19 pandemic, which has undermined the social and economic foundations of states. The most fundamental human right – the right to life – has been threatened, with the world economic downturn causing a big rise in unemployment and aggravating social insecurity. The development gaps between nations and regions are widening.