password forgotten? register

US expected to announce exit from UN Human Rights Council

19 June 2018

The United States is expected to announce its withdrawal Tuesday from the United Nations Human Rights Council over a supposed anti-Israel bias.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley would make an announcement regarding the council at 5 p.m. (2100 GMT).

Last week, numerous reports from U.S. diplomats indicated the U.S.’ "imminent" intentions to withdraw, citing the Geneva-based organization’s condemnation of Israeli violence against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Since coming into office last year, Haley has routinely accused the 47-member body of a "chronic anti-Israel bias." She warned during an address last year that the U.S. would disengage from the council without thorough reforms.

A State Department official told The Independent last week that the U.S. "wants a Human Rights Council that fulfills its purpose as the premier international focal point for human rights issues," adding that "all too frequently, it fails to address critical situations for political reasons – and undermines its own credibility."

It remains unclear whether the U.S. will announce its withdrawal or leave its seat empty for this session, which began this week and runs through July.

Human rights organizations have condemned the expected decision, asking Pompeo to reconsider.

The Human Rights Council – which was formed in 2006 and gained U.S. support in 2008 under the Obama administration – has not shied away from criticizing Israel’s policies against Palestinians.

The U.S., a stalwart supporter of Israel, has complained about the body’s periodic review of Israel’s human rights and instead asked for more attention to be given to other offenders, such as Venezuela and Syria.

The U.S. already announced its intention to withdraw from the U.N.’s Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) over the issue of criticism against Israel.

Since taking office last year, U.S. President Trump has regularly criticized multilateral organizations, including the U.N., and threatened to withdraw from or reduce participation in them.

More articles

Israel, Gaza on ’brink of war,’ UN chief Guterres warns
19 June 2018
UK court rules to freeze British assets of Gazprom in lawsuit filed by Ukraine’s Naftogaz
19 June 2018
Turkey hosts world’s most refugees for 4th consecutive year: UN
19 June 2018
Yemeni government forces enter Hodeida airport, UAE says
19 June 2018