Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

US to Withdraw from U.N. Human Rights Council

US to Withdraw from U.N. Human Rights Council

Last year, Haley warned the Geneva-based council that the USA would withdraw if it did not end its systematic scrutiny of Israel and alleged Israeli rights abuses against Palestinians.

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

The Human Rights Council is a body of 47 member states that works around the world to protect human rights.

United Nations rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said Monday "the thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable".

"Human rights abusers continue to serve on, and be elected to, the council", said Haley, listing U.S. grievances with the body.

The Trump administration plans to announce Tuesday that it will withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council after criticizing the body for hypocrisy and bias against Israel. "From day one he has called out institutions or countries who say one thing and do another, and that's precisely the problem at the human rights council".

The decision was reportedly based on the Council's bias against Israel and its extension of membership to notorious human rights abusers. She also criticized countries which shared USA values and encouraged Washington to remain, but "were unwilling to seriously challenge the status quo".

The move extends a broader Trump administration pattern of stepping back from worldwide agreements and forums under the president's "America First" policy.

It's also notable that while Haley tries to claim the moral high ground by condemning other nations that violate human rights, Trump's recent stance towards human rights abusers like China, Russia, and North Korea has been unbelievably friendly compared to past presidents. But UN officials said no member has withdrawn. Israel's ambassador in Geneva attacked the council for "spreading lies against Israel". "Human Rights" Council is an oxymoron that does not deserve our respect or support.

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.

The U.S. withdrawal from the council isn't exactly a surprise. 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.

Under Obama, the United States was elected to the body for a maximum two consecutive terms.

Since Trump took office, the United States has quit the UN cultural agency UNESCO, cut UN funding and announced plans to quit the UN-backed Paris climate agreement.

The United States has opted to stay out of the Human Rights Council before: The George W. Bush administration opted against seeking membership when the council was created in 2006. Members serve for three-year terms and can serve only two terms in a row.

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