U.S. Poised to Withdraw from U.N. Human-Rights Council

20 June, 2018, 01:53 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • U.S. will leave UN Human Rights Council, ambassador Haley says

In a speech to the body previous year, Haley called it out for what she said was its "relentless, pathological campaign" against the Jewish state. "The human rights council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy".

And the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank close to the Trump administration, defended the move, calling the council "notably incurious about the human rights situations in some of the world's most oppressive countries". The State Department didn't immediately comment.

Even some critics of the human rights council have called for continuing to push for a revamping of the body rather than quitting it. Members serve for three-year terms and can serve only two terms in a row.

Since 2006, the Human Rights Council has passed more than 70 resolutions critical of Israel, 10 times as often as it has criticized Iran.

Reaction to the anticipated move from human rights advocates was swift.

Haley said a year ago Washington was reviewing its membership and called for reform and elimination of a "chronic anti-Israel bias".

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In May, the council voted to send a team of worldwide investigators to probe the deadly shootings of Gaza protesters by Israeli forces.

But Israel has never been a members state of the Human Rights Council, which are elected by the UN General Assembly.

Halley made the announcement on Tuesday in Washington, DC.

The United States and Australia cast the only "no" votes. In that situation, the U.S. would be able to speak out on rights abuses, but not to vote.

When the Council was created in 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush's administration shunned the body.

Under Obama, the United States was elected to the body for a maximum two consecutive terms.

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Last week, Reuters citing a source speaking on a condition of anonymity, reported that a U.S. withdrawal appeared to be "imminent".

"When a so-called Human Rights Council can not bring itself to address the massive abuses in Venezuela and Iran, and it welcomes the Democratic Republic of Congo as a new member, the council ceases to be worthy of its name", said Haley.

In May, the U.S.

"The Trump administration's withdrawal is a sad reflection of its one-dimensional human rights policy - defending Israeli abuses from criticism takes precedence above all else", Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth said in a statement.

Mr Pompeo said the council has failed to protect the most vulnerable. "We did not make this decision lightly".

Among reforms the United States had been seeking was to make it easier to kick out member state with egregious rights records. He spoke at the start of the UNHRC's 38th session in Geneva.

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On Monday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein announced that an update on that list would be published prior to September.

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