United States To Leave UN Human Rights Council

US to pull out of United Nations Human Rights Council Source

"In doing so, I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from our human rights commitments", Haley said.

Formed in 2006, the council has been criticised for allowing countries with questionable human rights records to be members.

Even some critics of the human rights council have called for continuing to push for a revamping of the body rather than quitting it.

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".

"Given the state of human rights in today's world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back", Zeid said after Haley announced the USA withdrawal.

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said she had traveled to the council's headquarters in Geneva a year ago to call for reforms, to no avail.

It's believed that, up until now, the U.S. had traded its continued presence in the council for an under the table agreement with the UNHRC that it would hold off on publication of its settlement black list which was due out at the end of previous year.

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In a speech from Geneva, Haley also insisted that it was "essential the council address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it's to have any credibility".

"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.

Either way, the USA pullout was bound to have ripple effects for at least two countries at the council: China and Israel.

"The human rights council is a poor defender of human rights.

Should it become reformed we would be happy to rejoin".

The decision to exit the United Nations body comes after more than a year of threatening to do so, calling for reform, and accusing it of an anti-Israel bias - but it also follows one day after its High Commissioner criticized the US over President Donald Trump's immigration policies, especially separating families at the U.S. But UN officials said no member has withdrawn. "Human Rights" Council is an oxymoron that does not deserve our respect or support. "In that situation, the US would be able to speak out on rights abuses, but not to vote", the AP observed. In recent months, the United States has participated in attempts to pinpoint rights violations in places like South Sudan, Congo and Cambodia.

"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". Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the US decision. Members serve for three-year terms and can serve only two terms in a row.

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