Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally announced the formation of a new commission on “unalienable rights,” which is intended to guide U.S. foreign policy.
The commission is meant to re-frame the issue of human rights in a way consistent with the founding principles of the United States. The commission will be headed by Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard professor and former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See under the Bush Administration. Pompeo said the commission will be nonpartisan and filled out with “human rights experts, philosophers, and activists.” (RELATED: Pompeo: US Is Trying To Keep Venezuelan Opposition Unified, But It’s ‘Devilishly Difficult’)
— Department of State (@StateDept) July 8, 2019
The project was initially made public by the Trump administration in May, and a senior administration official told the Daily Caller that the State Department hopes the commission will serve as a “lodestar” for American foreign policy, but will not have a formal policy role. (RELATED: Pompeo Hits Media For Obsessing Over Trump’s Foreign Oppo Comment)
“It is intended to ground our understanding of human rights in our history,” the source said. “It can only offer advice to the secretary, not make policy.”
Some left-wing activists have fretted that the commission will be used to promote conservative positions on LGBT issues and abortion. A devout Catholic, Glendon has been outspoken about her pro-life views, once refusing an award from Notre Dame after the university invited President Barack Obama to give its commencement address.
Pompeo himself is a staunch social conservative and the administration official confirmed to the Caller that the commission is his brainchild.
“It is his idea, his conception, his project,” the source said of Pompeo.
The source also added that the commission is not intended to focus on polarizing social issues, but acknowledged that it may provoke a discussion on those issues. The source added that the commission is not intended to be divisive, but to bring people together.
“Human rights is a bipartisan issue,” the source said.