USA leaves ‘hypocritical’ UN Human Rights Council, citing China and Israel

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The Trump administration is poised to announce its departure from the United Nations' main human-rights body in its latest withdrawal from an worldwide institution.

Haley is President Donald Trump's envoy to the United Nations. "If it fails to change, then we must pursue the advancement of human rights outside of the Council", Haley said at a speech in Geneva previous year.

"We share the view that the dedicated Agenda Item 7 focused exclusively on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace, and unless things change we shall vote next year against all resolutions introduced under Item 7", Johnson said.

The US also wanted more stringent criteria for membership and the ability to kick countries that have egregious human rights records off the council, reported CNN.

The council, she added, has a "chronic bias against Israel".

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Speaking before the USA announcement, United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "is a strong believer in the human rights architecture of the United Nations and the active participation of all states".

The Trump administration is set to announce Tuesday its departure from the United Nations' main human rights body in its latest withdrawal from an global institution.

The United States withdrew from the U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday after no other countries "had the courage to join our fight" to reform the "hypocritical and self-serving" body, said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Haley threatened the pullout past year, citing longstanding United States complaints that the council is biased against Israel.

The council was formed in 2006 and had been questioned for allowing countries with bad human rights records to be members. But on Monday, the UN's human-rights chief denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents. Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is visiting the Middle East this week as the White House works to lay the groundwork for unveiling the plan. The body has a permanent standing agenda item on suspected violations committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories that Washington wanted removed. Alongside his strong speech on the importance of girls' education, his commitment that the United Kingdom will vote against all resolutions in 2019 tabled under the infamous Item 7, which singles out Israel as the only country in the world to have its own agenda item, is an important victory for human rights.

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These states include Venezuela, China and Saudi Arabia.

If the United States leaves the council today it will not be present for the July 2 discussion the council plans to conduct in regards to Israel and Palestine. Israel's ambassador in Geneva attacked the council for "spreading lies against Israel". Members are elected by the U.N. General Assembly for three-year terms and can not serve more than two terms in a row.

The United States has opted to stay out of the Human Rights Council before: The George W. Bush administration opted against seeking membership when the council was created in 2006.

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".

Under Obama, the USA was elected to the body for a maximum two consecutive terms.

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