US quits UN human rights body citing bias towards Israel

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The United States has announced its withdrawal from the UN’s Human Rights’ Council in Geneva.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley will make the joint-announcement from the State Department in Washington.

The United States is currently in the middle of a three-year term on the Geneva-based Council along with South Africa that also began its current tenure in 2016.

This is just the latest multilateral fora or agreement the United States has withdrawn from, among them UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 2015 over Palestine’s admission, the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the Iran Nuclear Deal and Trade Treaties – moves that have infuriated allies.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley referred to the body as hypocritical and self-serving, while referring to Washington’s membership as the last shred of credibility for the Council, adding greater impetus to their withdrawal.

She cited Cuba, the DRC, Venezuela and China as examples of countries with poor human rights records serving on the Council and slammed what Washington believes is the Council’s bias towards Israel.

South Africa’s Ambassador to the Council in Geneva, Nosipho Mxakatho Diseko called the move tragic for the people of the United States, warning that no country ever gets 100% of all its wishes and desires in multilateral fora.