SEE YA: USA to Announce Its Decision to WITHDRAW from UN Council


SEE YA: USA to Announce Its Decision to WITHDRAW from UN Council

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, outgoing United Nations high commissioner for human rights, attends a Human Rights Council session in Geneva on June 18. "If it fails to change, then we must pursue the advancement of human rights outside of the Council". "The US decision to leave this prejudiced body is an unequivocal statement that enough is enough".

Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Human Rights Program, said Trump's "misguided policy of isolationism only harms American interests and betrays our values as a nation".

The U.S. removal from the UN Human Rights Council will leave the forum without one of the traditionally strongest voices against human rights abuses. After a year off, Washington was re-elected in 2016 for its current third term.

The council was formed in 2006, with the goal of helping to ensure human rights were upheld worldwide.

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".

The George W. Bush administration boycotted the council at its inception, but the Obama administration made a decision to "re-engage" with the body in 2009. "That undermines our standing in the world and allows our adversaries to fill the void". "Now other governments will have to redouble their efforts to ensure that the council addresses the world's most serious human rights problems".

Mr Pompeo said the council has failed to protect the most vulnerable.

The move comes a day after United Nations officials sharply criticized President Trump's handling of refugee families at the Mexico border.

But the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank close to the Trump administration, defended the move, calling the council 'notably incurious about the human rights situations in some of the world's most oppressive countries'.

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".

Before the United States joined, half the country-specific votes condemned Israel.

The withdrawal, which comes as the 47-member body begins a three-week session in Geneva, had been expected as a result of the Trump administration's frequent criticism of the group's treatment of Israel.

Some, like DNC chairman Tom Perez, found it ironic that the US should make a move as thousands of children sit in cages at the USA border, separated from their parents, who are fleeing persecution.

Since rejoining the Human Rights Council in 2010, the USA has played a leading role on initiatives related to Syria, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. Other contentious moves have included slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum against key trading partners, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving the U.S. Embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv.

The Trump administration's irritation with the council makeup and its agenda has been telegraphed with drumbeat regularity by Haley.

Haley also said the "disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights".

Two weeks ago, Haley reiterated her ultimatum.

Few dispute the underlying reasons for the administration's frustration with the council. The UN resolution creating the council provides that any successor would be another country from the group that includes Western Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel.

Ms Haley is decrying the membership of countries like China, Cuba and Venezuela that are themselves accused of rights violations. "We gave them opportunity after opportunity, but they would not take a stand unless it was behind closed doors", she remarked. Following its decision to withdraw, the USA may continue to advance these priorities as a non-member, or may choose to disengage entirely.