USA withdraws from UN Human Rights Council

USA withdraws from UN Human Rights Council

USA withdraws from UN Human Rights Council

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley says the Human Rights Council has treated Israel worse than Iran, Syria and even North Korea over the conflict with the Palestinians.

She added: "The world's most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny and the council continues politicising and scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks".

The Trump administration is set to announce Tuesday its departure from the United Nations' main human rights body in its latest withdrawal from an worldwide institution.

The Geneva-based body was established in 2006 to promote and protect human rights worldwide, but its pronouncements and reports have often clashed with United States priorities. In her remarks Tuesday, Haley specifically cited countries like Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, both of which are members of the body.

During the council's latest session, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the UN's high commissioner for human rights, launched an attack on the Trump administration's policy of separating families trying to cross the southwest border illegally, calling the practice "unconscionable".

Since past year, 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.

The U.S. Dept. of State on Tuesday is expected to announce it is withdrawing from the United Nation's Human Rights Council.

Reacting to the USA decision, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed regret, saying he would "have much preferred" for the United States to remain.

"Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy with numerous world's worst human rights abuses going ignored and some of the world's most serious offenders sitting on the council itself", he added.

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U.S. ambassador to the UN Haley slammed Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting United States efforts to alter the council. It had an obsession with Israel to the exclusion of nearly all other issues, especially those involving the countries that formed the commission.

The 47-member council has a number of powers, including the ability to establish panels that probe alleged human rights abuses.

The report says that while the USA has always been the most unequal among developed nations, it's getting worse under Trump.

The US diplomat described the UN HRC as "a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights".

The United States has long accused the council of being biased against Israel.

Under President Barack Obama the United States was elected for a maximum two consecutive terms on the council by the U.N. General Assembly.

When the council was first established in 2006, the administration George W. Bush withheld its membership over similar concerns.

Barack Obama chose to have the USA rejoin the new UNHRC shortly after taking office.

Human rights organisations like the American Civil Liberties Union believe the U.S. shutting the proverbial door on multi-lateral organisations and agreements both betrays America's values as a nation, and harms the country's interests.

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