Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

U.S. to pull out of UN Human Rights Council

U.S. to pull out of UN Human Rights Council

"Human rights abusers continue to serve on, and be elected to, the council", said Haley from the State Department alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Haley is decrying the membership of countries like China, Cuba and Venezuela that are themselves accused of rights violations. "The HRC [Human Rights Council] consistently ignores the worst human rights abuses in the world proving it is not an honest broker".

"The announcement came just a day after the United Nations human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents".

The anticipated move follows months of talks between the USA and United Nations member states in NY and Geneva, where the Human Rights Council is based, on reforming the agenda of the council.

"We will continue to lead on human rights outside the misnamed human rights council".

She also lambasted the council for calling out Israel for the alleged abuse of Palestinians, claiming a "disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel".

The State Department's website says protection of fundamental human rights was a "foundation stone" for the United States' creation over two centuries ago and that promoting respect for human rights since has been a "central goal" of US foreign policy.

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

After weeks of speculation, the United States will officially pull it's membership on the United Nations Human Rights Council Tuesday afternoon.

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

While the General Assembly was first drafting the rules for the Council back in 2005, then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton (currently President Trump's national security adviser) worked tirelessly to do the same. Israel's ambassador in Geneva attacked the council for "spreading lies against Israel". But UN officials said no member has withdrawn.

Among reforms the United States had pushed for was to make it easier to kick out member states with egregious rights records. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein on Monday called on Washington to halt its "unconscionable" policy. It was not immediately clear if the US would remain a non-voting observer on the council. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the US decision. 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.

The US only joined in 2009 under President Barack Obama. After a year off, Washington was re-elected in 2016 for its current third term.

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.

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