US quits UN Human Rights Council

21 June, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Kim Reid
  • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters in a file

China has weighed in on the U.S.'s recently announced decision to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council, Reuters reported.

Added Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch: "All Trump seems to care about is defending Israel".

Haley, Trump's envoy to the United Nations, said the USA had given the human rights body "opportunity after opportunity" to make changes.

"It's a setback that they've made this decision because the cooperation has been good", said Soini.

Russian Federation on Wednesday voiced surprise at the United States' decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council, accusing Washington of "gross cynicism" and "disregard" for the world body.

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"The UN Human Rights Council has worked effectively without the USA in the past and we hope that it will continue to do so", she said.

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Rights groups have criticized the Trump administration for not making human rights a priority in its foreign policy.

Washington's withdrawal is the latest USA rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The body has a permanent standing agenda item on suspected violations committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories that Washington wanted removed.

Haley says the organizations wrote a joint letter to members of the Human Rights Council urging them to oppose a US -sponsored resolution to reform it. "Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers and farmers who have done nothing wrong". "For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias". The official wasn't authorized to comment publicly and insisted on anonymity. It complained that several human-right abusers had seats, and there was "chronic" anti-Israel bias.

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The U.S. pullout was bound to have ripple effects for at least two countries at the council: China and Israel.

The United States says the council's hypocritical, self righteous about Israel and the West in general, while ignoring the abuses of numerous 47 member countries' which sit on it.

Russia's United Nations mission responded in a statement that the US had tried but failed to turn the Council into an "obedient instrument for advancing their interests and punishing the countries it dislikes". The United States was half-way through a three-year term on the Geneva-based 47-member body.

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

The council's goal is to globally protect human rights.

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Under President Barack Obama the USA was elected for a maximum of two consecutive terms on the council by the UN General Assembly.

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