by Hanna Bogorowski
The U.S. is suggesting an “imminent” withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) after the body failed to meet Washington’s reform demands, diplomatic sources said on Thursday.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., told the Council a year ago that the U.S. would leave unless key issues, most notably disputes over Israel, were resolved.
Haley wrote that a U.S. Senate subcommittee met to consider whether the U.S. should remain a part of the council in an op-ed for the Washington Post in 2017.
“The question was whether the Human Rights Council actually supports human rights or is merely a showcase for dictatorships that use their membership to whitewash brutality,” Haley wrote.
A U.S. exit from the Council is “imminent,” one source told Reuters in a Thursday report. Recent talks in Geneva and New York by members of the Council have failed to result in an acceptable agreement about the future of the organization.
Under Haley’s leadership, the U.S. has been one of only a few members to defend Israel on various circumstances. The U.S. was one of eight states on Wednesday to oppose a vote in favor of a resolution condemning Israel for using “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate” force in Gaza following protests and violence along Israel’s border.
Haley specifically cited Israel as a point of contention on behalf of the U.S., saying the U.N. “must also end its practice of wrongly singling out Israel for criticism,” in her op-ed.
The UNHRC is a 47-member body of the U.N. responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world, and is currently holding a three-week session, concluding July 6.
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