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USA to pull out of UN Human Rights Council

20 June, 2018, 02:44 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • U.S. will leave UN Human Rights Council, ambassador Haley says

The anticipated move follows months of talks between the USA and United Nations member states in NY and Geneva, where the Human Rights Council is based, on reforming the agenda of the council.

Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced on Tuesday that the U.S. is pulling out of the UN Human Rights Council, accusing the body in a statement of bias against Israel.

Haley is US President Donald Trump's envoy to the United Nations. The policy decision by the Trump administration has been condemned in recent weeks, with a fever pitch being reached earlier this week as photos, videos, and audio of the detention centers have been shared with the public. Nine years later, it's as obsessed with Israel as ever, and includes such paragons of human rights as Cuba, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. She also criticized countries which shared US values and encouraged Washington to remain, but "were unwilling to seriously challenge the status quo".

"Should it become reformed we would be happy to rejoin". "The HRC [Human Rights Council] consistently ignores the worst human rights abuses in the world proving it is not an honest broker".

"For too long the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias", Haley said. "In short, the Commission had lost the world's trust".

"The human rights council is a poor defender of human rights". Now a two-thirds majority vote by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly is needed to suspend a member state.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has criticized the human rights council over its handling of issues related to Israel and the Palestinian territories, which he said were "damaging to the cause of peace".

The U.S. withdrawal from the council isn't exactly a surprise. Critics say this sends a message that the administration turns a blind eye to human rights abuses in some parts of the world.

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There are 47 countries in the Human Rights Council, elected by the U.N.'s General Assembly with a specific number of seats allocated for each region of the globe.

A full pullout by the USA leaves the council without one of its traditional defenders of human rights. After a year off, it was re-elected in 2016.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley will make the announcement at a press conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington at 5:00 pm (2100 GMT). In that situation, the US would be able to speak out on rights abuses, but not to vote.

Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Human Rights Program, said Trump's "misguided policy of isolationism only harms American interests".

The United States has opted to stay out of the Human Rights Council before: The George W. Bush administration opted against seeking membership when the council was created in 2006.

The council last month voted to probe killings in Gaza and accused Israel of using excessive force.

"A pullout could be largely symbolic: The United States' current term on the council ends next year, when it could revert to the observer status held by other countries that are not members".

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