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US Withdraws From UN Human Rights Council

unhrc june20 lt

The United States has withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council, the human rights arm of the United Nations.

The decision, which the Trump administration has threatened for months, was announced by Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Speaking from the State Department Tuesday, Haley called the human rights body a "cesspool of political bias."

Criticizing its "shameless hypocrisy" in absolving wrongdoers through silence and falsely condemning those committing no offense, she said America will not take lectures from hypocritical institutions.

Haley announced the decision in the presence of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The US ambassador to the UN also criticized the Council for a "disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel."

Naming a few countries, she claimed that human rights abusers continue to serve on and be elected to the Council. "With members like China, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela, the Human Rights Council is not worth its name."

Haley accused the council of "politicizing and scapegoating countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks."

The Indian-origin diplomat made it clear that this step is not a retreat from Washington's human rights commitments. "On the contrary, we take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights."

The move comes a day after the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the US Government for the separation of children from their parents at the US-Mexico border as "unconscionable."

In response to the withdrawal of the United States, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he would have much preferred the US remaining in the United Nations body which is designed to promote and protect human rights around the globe.

The Democratic party opposed the move.

"The United States should be leading the world on human rights, not retreating into isolation and separating young children from their families," said Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Tom Perez.

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