Russia criticizes US pullout from UN Human Rights Council

Posted June 20, 2018

The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.

Domestically, some critics of President Donald Trump are citing the move as proof his administration does not believe in human rights and rule of law.

"The Secretary-General would have much preferred for the United States to remain in the Human Rights Council", Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said in response to the U.S. announcement. During her visit to Geneva a year ago, Haley branded the council a "forum for politics, hypocrisy and evasion".

Since Jan. 2017, it has announced its withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, left the United Nations educational and cultural organization and pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

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.

Calling it an organisation "not worthy of its name", Haley said, "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".

The United States is half-way through a three-year term on the main UN rights body. Since its inception, the council passed more resolutions against Israel than the rest of the world combined, Pompeo said. China has already started subtly modifying council's approach to human rights.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has criticized the human rights council over its handling of issues related to Israel and the Palestinian territories, which he said were "damaging to the cause of peace".

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"When a so-called Human Rights Council can not bring itself to address the massive abuses in Venezuela and Iran, and it welcomes the Democratic Republic of Congo as a new member, the council ceases to be worthy of its name", Haley said.

"The human rights council is a poor defender of human rights". 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.

"The council has failed in its stated objectives", Pompeo said.

Known as "Item 7", this item means that Israel's treatment of the Palestinians comes under scrutiny at each of three annual sessions.

The UNHRC was established in 2006, after the disbanding of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

Meanwhile the campaign group Human Rights Watch criticised President Trump's human rights policy as "one-dimensional".

Under President Barack Obama the USA was elected for a maximum two consecutive terms on the council by the UN General Assembly.

The United States' current term on the council ends next year.

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