USA to Withdraw from U.N. Human Rights Council

Geneva Stokes
June 20, 2018

The United States is expected to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, according to numerous reports.

Standing with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting U.S. efforts to reform the council.

Neither Haley nor Pompeo referenced Al Hussein's remarks, but Haley accused the body of "attack [ing] countries that uphold human rights and shield [ing] countries that abuse human rights".

It also comes as the United States faces intense criticism for detaining children separated from their immigrant parents at the U.S. -Mexico border.

"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 world's most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny".

"Regrettably", she added, "it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded". "In short, the Commission had lost the world's trust".

Mr Johnson's address on Monday focused on the need for education of women and girls worldwide as a way to promote human rights. The U.S. joined the body only in 2009 under President Barack Obama.

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.

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Instead, the U.S. State making the historic move to protest what it calls is the Council's anti-Israel bias.

Speaking before the USA announcement, United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "is a strong believer in the human rights architecture of the U.N. and the active participation of all states". President Trump wants to move the ball forward.

Twelve rights and aid groups, including Human Rights First, Save the Children and CARE, warned Pompeo the US withdrawal would "make it more hard to advance human rights priorities and aid victims of abuse around the world".

The body consists of 47 member states, with a specific number of seats given to each region of the world.

In May, the U.S. After a year off, Washington was re-elected in 2016 for its current third term.

"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.

The administration has argued that the body, which issues a report on Israel at every session, is inherently biased against the USA ally. In recent months, the United States has participated in attempts to pinpoint rights violations in places like South Sudan, Congo and Cambodia.

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