U.S. announces it will leave United Nations human rights council

U.S. announces it will leave United Nations human rights council

It was not immediately clear if the USA would remain a non-voting observer on the council.

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.

Last week, activists and diplomats said talks with the United States about changes to the main UN rights body had failed to meet Washington's demands, suggesting that the Trump administration would quit.

Haley threatened the pull-out past year, citing longstanding USA complaints that the 47-member council is biased against Israel.

Haley has repeatedly attacked the council for its "relentless, pathological campaign" against Israel.

She went on to claim the: "disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights".

Condemning the planned withdrawal from the United Nations group, Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat who serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, said the decision "sends a clear message that the Trump administration does not intend to lead the world when it comes to human rights". "Being a member of this council is a privilege, and no country who is a human rights violator should be allowed a seat at the table".

The council meets three times a year to examine human rights violations worldwide.

"[The withdrawal] is indicative of this administration's complete disregard of human rights abuses".

The US was one of the UNHRC's 47-members. After a year off, it was re-elected in 2016.

"I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from our human rights commitments".

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What happens to the children? . "Think of all the aid that we give some of these countries", he said. Getty ImagesMexicans walk along the U.S. -Mexico border fence on May 1, 2016 in Tijuana, Mexico.

The council voted last month to investigate killings in Gaza and accused Israel of excessive use of force.

But Israel has never been a members state of the Human Rights Council, which are elected by the UN General Assembly.

The announcement is expected as soon as Tuesday, the sources said.

The move also comes in the days following the United States' president embracing the world's worst murderous dictator. "USA leadership matters. We're still the only ones with credibility on human rights on the world stage". National Security Adviser John Bolton opposed the group's creation when he was USA ambassador to the United Nations in 2006, under former President George W. Bush. The US joined the body only in 2009 under President Barack Obama.

While that timing was jarring, the U.S. withdrawal had been in the works for some time.

Haley has been the driving force behind withdrawing from the human rights body, unprecedented in the 12-year history of the council. On one day alone in March, the council passed five resolutions condemning Israel.

Reaction to the anticipated move from human rights advocates was equally swift.

Added Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch: "All Trump seems to care about is defending Israel". Nonetheless, he said the United Kingdom wasn't "blind to the value of this council".

"The United States is looking very carefully at this council and our participation in it", she told council members.

The Trump administration had been signalling its intention to leave the council for some months, but the announcement came while the United States itself is under intense criticism for its own human rights, because of the administration's policy of forcibly separating young children from their parents when apprehended on the Mexican border.

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