The Trump administration is reportedly planning to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, fulfilling its pledge to leave a body it has long accused of hypocrisy. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley plan to announce the withdrawal as soon as possible, according to reports.
The latest session of 47-member council began on Monday with a broadside against US President Donald Trump’s immigration policy by UN’s high commissioner for human rights. He slammed the “unconscionable” policy of separating children from parents crossing the southern border illegally.
The withdrawal was expected, as John Bolton, the US national security advisor had opposed the creation of the body back in 2006 when he was US ambassador to UN. In a speech to the council last year, US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, had slammed the for what she said was its “relentless, pathological campaign” against Israel. She has also demanded the ways to expel members of the council that have poor human rights records themselves.
“For our part, the US will not sit quietly while this body, supposedly dedicated to human rights, continues to damage the cause of human rights. In the end, no speech and no structural reforms will save the members of the Human Rights Council from themselves,” Haley was quoted by Business Day as saying at that time.
The UN has clarified that it hasn’t received notification from US for its withdrawal.
Recently, on the opening day of the council’s session, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson had criticised the body’s agenda item dedicated to Israel and the Palestinian territories, slamming it as “damaging to the cause of peace”. Nonetheless, he said the UK wasn’t “blind to the value of this council”.
Israel and Palestine are on the agenda of the council and will be discussed on July 2.