USA 'to quit United Nations human rights council'

20 June, 2018, 02:43 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • WATCH LIVE: US quits UNHRC, 'We did not take this decision lightly'

The U.N. Human Rights Council called for an end to the policy, prompting Haley to criticize the worldwide body. "Human rights abusers continue to serve on and be elected to the council".

Bloomberg News notes the HRC began its latest session on Monday by discussing the USA media's new obsession, the "policy of separating children from parents crossing the southern border illegally", which High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein called "unconscionable".

Haley also said the "disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights".

Haley noted in her speech announcing the withdrawal that many member nations on the council, including Russia, China, Cuba, and Egypt, abuse human rights.

Since a year ago, Haley's office has also pushed the council and its chief not to publish a United Nations database of companies operating in West Bank settlements, a so-called blacklist that Israel is concerned could drive companies away and cast a further pall over its presence in the Palestinian-claimed West Bank.

Added Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch: "All Trump seems to care about is defending Israel". She also criticized countries which shared USA values and encouraged Washington to remain, but "were unwilling to seriously challenge the status quo".


"For our part, the United States will not sit quietly while this body, supposedly dedicated to human rights, continues to damage the cause of human rights", Haley said at the time.

The withdrawal followed strong United Nations criticism of US President Donald Trump's policy to separate migrant children from their families at the US-Mexico border. Israel's ambassador in Geneva castigated the council for "spreading lies against Israel". But UN officials said no member has withdrawn.

Rights groups have criticized the Trump administration for not making human rights a priority in its foreign policy. In recent months, the United States has participated in attempts to pinpoint rights violations in places like South Sudan, Congo and Cambodia.

Diplomats have said the USA withdrawal could bolster countries such as Cuba, Russia, Egypt and Pakistan, which resist what they see as United Nations interference in sovereign issues.

John Moore via Getty Images Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take them into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas. At the rights council, the United States has recently been the most unabashed critic of rights abuses in China - whose growing economic and diplomatic clout has chastened some other would-be critics, rights advocates say.

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. Now a two-thirds majority vote by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly is needed to suspend a member state.

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