United Kingdom vows to vote against Palestine at UN Human Rights Council

United Kingdom vows to vote against Palestine at UN Human Rights Council

Kerry Wise
June 20, 2018

She also criticized countries which shared U.S. values and encouraged Washington to remain but "were unwilling to seriously challenge the status quo".

The United States' current term on the council ends next year. The Trump administration had long threatened to quit if the 47-member Geneva-based body was not overhauled.

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

Since taking office, the administration has announced its withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, the United Nations educational and cultural organization and the Iran nuclear deal.

He called the policy of separating children from parents illegally crossing the southern border of the U.S. "unconscionable".

"On Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, a Jordanian, had rebuked Trump over the USA practice of splitting up migrant families detained on the Mexican border".

The US diplomat described the UN HRC as "a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights".

"The European Union will nevertheless continue to defend human rights and fundamental freedoms, whether in multilateral fora or around the world, also by cooperating with the USA whenever possible", she said in a statement. But today we need to be honest.

The US was seeking a reform to make it easier to kick out member states that have unacceptable rights records.

"Human rights abusers continue to serve on and be elected to the council", Haley said as she made the announcement.

"Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy with numerous world's worst human rights abuses going ignored and some of the world's most serious offenders sitting on the council itself", he added.

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Leaving the council is unlikely any immediate practical implications for USA diplomacy, aside from allowing the United Nations body to continue condemnations of Israel without much in the way of opposition.

Human rights organisations like the American Civil Liberties Union believe the USA shutting the proverbial door on multi-lateral organisations and agreements both betrays America's values as a nation, and harms the country's interests.

Some countries and diplomats were quick to express disappointment about the United States withdrawal.

Even some critics of the human rights council have called for continuing to push for a revamping of the body rather than quitting it. One supporter cited North Korea and Syria!

Washington has found itself at odds with allies and foes alike over its unconditional support for Israel.

But through Haley, the United States has demonstrated a strong bond with the Israeli government, such that it sanctions all of its actions, including the killing of hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza in recent months and the injuring of thousands of others. Now a two-thirds majority vote by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly is needed to suspend a member state.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the announcement from his social media account.

The UK has joined the U.S. in condemning an alleged anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, pledging to vote against issues on Palestine brought by the Human Rights Council. "Worse than that, it has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy", Pompeo said, blasting the council for passing more resolutions against Israel than against the rest of the world combined.

The move comes after Haley and the Trump administration said that the body was targeting Israel.

The United States could choose to stay on as a non-voting member, but that does not appear to be the direction the administration wishes to take.