US quits UN Human Rights Council, says its ‘biased’

The US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Image: CNN

DHARAMSALA, June 20: The US has withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council accusing the body of being biased against its ally, Israel and failing to hold human rights abusers accountable.

The move, threatened by the Trump administration for months was announced on Tuesday by the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, reports CNN.

Defending US’s move to withdraw from the council, Haley has said in the report that calls made by the US for reform were not heeded.

“Human rights abusers continue to serve on, and be elected to, the council,” Haley was quoted as saying in the report listing US grievances with the body.

“The world’s most inhumane regimes continue to escape its scrutiny, and the council continues politicizing scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in its ranks,” she added.

Hailey further said that for too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias.

The Vice President of US, Mike Pence has defended the move and twitted that, “Today the US took a stand against some of the world’s worst human rights violators by withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council. By elevating and protecting human rights violators and engaging in smear campaigns against democratic nations, the UNHRC makes a mockery of itself, its members, and the mission it was founded on. For years, the UNHRC has engaged in ever more virulent anti-American, and anti-Israel invective and the days of U.S. participation are over.”

The UN has expressed disappointment over the move and responding to the US’s decision, Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said, “The Secretary-General would have much preferred for the United States to remain in the Human Rights Council.”

Many charitable groups shared the sentiment of the UN and the groups are said to have written to the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo immediately condemning the move.

However, the US has left the door open to rejoining the council if reforms are made in the future. The United States will continue to promote human rights outside of the council and would consider rejoining it in the future if reforms are made, Hailey has said in the report.

The United Nations Human Rights Council is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world.  The council is a body of 47 member states within the United Nations tasked with upholding human rights.

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