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US announces withdrawal from UN human rights council

US announces withdrawal from UN human rights council

Less than two weeks ago, Haley publicly said the US would leave the body if changes weren't made, declaring the council's "relentless, pathological campaign" against Israel "makes a mockery not of Israel, but of the council itself". A group of 12 organizations including Save the Children, Freedom House and the United Nations Association-USA said there were "legitimate concerns" about the council's shortcomings but that none of them warranted a US exit.

All concerns regarding human rights abuses in all the other countries around the world are debated under Agenda Item 4.

Among other reasons for the U.S. withdrawal, Haley named "chronic bias against Israel", its key ally.

The US diplomat described the UN HRC as "a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights". Israel, meanwhile, has praised the decision. President Trump wants to move the ball forward.

Watch her full statement above, via The Department of State. The Bush Administration made a decision to boycott the council when it was created in 2006 for numerous same reasons cited by the Trump administration.

'Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded, ' Haley said.

Hatem Abudayyeh, the co-founder of the US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), said the US withdrawal from the United Nations council demonstrates Israel's increasing isolation at the world stage.

"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", Pompeo said, according to NPR. Members serve for three-year terms and can serve only two terms in a row.

While the timing of the United States exit from the UN body coincides with this criticism, Washington's objections to the Human Rights Council over the years have mostly been in regard to Israel.

US Secretary of Stake Michael Pompeo, who was also present during the announcement, described the HRC activities as "an exercise in shameless hypocrisy".

United Nations officials privately confirmed they were expecting the USA decision to quit the rights body.

The country initially refused to join the council in 2006, arguing that, like the old commission, the UNHRC had admitted nations with questionable human rights records. It was only in 2009 that the USA joined the organization under President Barack Obama, whose administration argued that US membership could better steer it. Nine years later, it's as obsessed with Israel as ever, and includes such paragons of human rights as Cuba, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.

This followed Israel's unprecedented boycott of one of the council's reviews, alleging unfair criticism from the body.

Last week, the United States was one of eight nations that voted against a resolution at the UN General Assembly to condemn Israel's lethal force against peaceful Palestinian protesters.

She said Washington wanted the council to remove "Item Seven" from its agenda - on the "human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories" - which she called "scandalous" for singling out Israel for criticism.

Diplomats have said the USA withdrawal could bolster countries such as Cuba, Russia, Egypt and Pakistan, which resist what they see as United Nations interference in sovereign issues.