Sat | Jul 21, 2018

US leaving UN’s Human Rights Council, cites anti-Israel bias

Published:Wednesday | June 20, 2018 | 10:51 AM
FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018, file photo, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is leaving the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, which Ambassador Nikki Haley called “an organization that is not worthy of its name”. 

It’s the latest withdrawal by the Trump administration from an international institution.

Haley said Tuesday the U.S. had given the human rights body “opportunity after opportunity” to make changes.

She lambasted the council for “its chronic bias against Israel” and lamented the fact that its membership includes accused human rights abusers such as China, Cuba, Venezuela, and Congo.

“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” Haley said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appearing alongside Haley at the State Department, said there was no doubt that the council once had a “noble vision.”

"But today we need to be honest,” Pompeo said, adding,“The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights".

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

But, Haley cited longstanding U.S. complaints that the 47-member council is biased against Israel.

She had been threatening the pull-out since last year unless the council made changes advocated by the U.S.

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