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SEE YA: USA to Announce Its Decision to WITHDRAW from UN Council

20 June 2018

This item was included when the council's agenda was drawn up at the conclusion of its initial year, in 2007, at a time when the USA had decided not to participate in the council. We are respected again.

Britain on Monday urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to reform its treatment of Israel, joining the United States in demanding an end to the body's alleged bias against the Jewish State.

Haley had threatened to withdraw from the council in June 2017 unless it reformed, including by removing its built-in procedural mechanism to bash Israel.

The anticipated move follows months of talks between the USA and United Nations member states in NY and Geneva, where the Human Rights Council is based, on reforming the agenda of the council.

The Trump administration's irritation with the council makeup and its agenda has been telegraphed with drumbeat regularity by Haley.

A full pullout by the USA leaves the council without one of its traditional defenders of human rights. It has initiated investigations into rights violations in Syria, Yemen, Burundi, Myanmar, and South Sudan, and addresses key topics such as migration, counterterrorism and protecting women, LGBT people, people with disabilities and others from violence and discrimination.

For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias. During the first six years the United States was a member, resolutions critical of Israel dropped to one-fifth.

Rights groups have criticized the Trump administration for not making human rights a priority in its foreign policy.

The Human Rights Council is a body of 47 member states that works around the world to protect human rights.

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

The U.S. pullout was bound to have ripple effects for at least two countries at the council: China and Israel.

Diplomats have said the USA withdrawal from the body could bolster countries such as Cuba, Russia, Egypt and Pakistan, which resist what they see as United Nations interference in sovereign issues. In that situation, the USA would be able to speak out on rights abuses, but not to vote. The United States joined in 2009, during the Obama administration.

The expected USA announcement was welcomed by Israel's Deputy Minister for Diplomacy, Michael Oren. Having Cuba and Venezuela as human-rights judges is the equivalent of putting Harvey Weinstein on a commission to promote female empowerment in the workplace.

The State Department's website says protection of fundamental human rights was a "foundation stone" for the United States' creation over two centuries ago and that promoting respect for human rights since has been a "central goal" of USA foreign policy. Nonetheless, he said the United Kingdom wasn't "blind to the value of this council". "We will wait to hear the details of that decision before commenting further", said United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Among reforms the United States had pushed for was to make it easier to kick out member states with egregious rights records.

This is the first time since the Human Rights Council was formed in 2006 that a sitting member would volunteer to step aside, though Libya was suspended in 2011 after a government crackdown on unarmed protesters.

Just the day before, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, has openly criticized the administration's policy of separating immigrant kids and parents, referring to statements that call it "child abuse".

SEE YA: USA to Announce Its Decision to WITHDRAW from UN Council