USA announces it will leave United Nations human rights council

U.S. will leave UN Human Rights Council, ambassador Haley says

U.S. will leave UN Human Rights Council, ambassador Haley says

Last year, Haley condemned that council's "relentless, pathological campaign" against Israel and denounced members of the council who have a history of human rights abuses.

Even some critics of the human rights council have called for continuing to push for a revamping of the body rather than quitting it.

The withdrawal comes as the Trump administration faces scrutiny over its "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration that's resulted in migrant families being separated at the U.S-Mexico border.

Haley said a year ago that Washington was reviewing its membership and called for reform and elimination of a "chronic anti-Israel bias".

The Trump administration plans to announce its withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, making good on a pledge to leave a body it has long accused of hypocrisy and criticized as biased against Israel, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Despite the criticism, he said "I stress that that does not mean that we in the United Kingdom are blind to the value of this council".

President Bush said that if the council was a tool for human rights abusers to masquerade as human rights authorities, and to foment antisemitism by using the Jewish state as its proverbial scapegoat, the leader of the free world would not join or legitimize it.

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"The Trump administration's withdrawal is a sad reflection of its one-dimensional human rights policy: defending Israeli abuses from criticism takes precedence above all else", Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, said.

"For our part, the United States will not sit quietly while this body, supposedly dedicated to human rights, continues to damage the cause of human rights", Haley said at the time. President Trump wants to move the ball forward.

The decision to exit the United Nations body comes after more than a year of threatening to do so, calling for reform, and accusing it of an anti-Israel bias - but it also follows one day after its High Commissioner criticized the USA over President Donald Trump's immigration policies, especially separating families at the U.S. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein on Monday called on Washington to halt its "unconscionable" policy.

Although numerous officials have said repeatedly that "America First does not mean America Alone", the administration has retreated from multiple multilateral accords and consensuses since it took office. In recent months, the United States has participated in attempts to pinpoint rights violations in places like South Sudan, Congo and Cambodia. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the USA decision. The US and Australia cast the only "no" votes.

The U.S. withdrawal from the council isn't exactly a surprise.

The US refused to join the body when it was created in 2006 when George W. Bush was in the White House and his ambassador to the United Nations was John Bolton, Trump's current hawkish and UN-skeptic national security advisor.

The body consists of 47 member states, with a specific number of seats given to each region of the world. Now a two-thirds majority vote by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly is needed to suspend a member state. After a year off, Washington was re-elected in 2016 for its current third term.

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