The United States, led by Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, is preparing to leave the organization’s human rights council. Haley says the decision is based on a “chronic anti-Israel bias.”
The UN Human Rights Council was set up in 2006 with the goal of investigating suspected violations of human rights. Among the agencies directives is a standing agenda item to examine suspected violations in Israel, specifically focused on Palestinian occupied territories.
According to Haley, the council is comprised of anti-Israel members. The council was boycotted for three years by President George W. Bush and rejoined under Barack Obama in 2009.
The UN Human Rights Council is comprised of 47 members. Last month, the group cast a vote to investigate killings in Gaza and accused Israel of engaging in excessive use of force. Every member outside of the US and Australia voted “yes” to investigate.
Following the vote, Israel’s ambassador in Geneva, Aviva Raz Shechter, claimed the council was “spreading lies against Israel.”
Now, a US source tells The Guardian that the country’s withdrawal is “imminent.” Diplomats say it’s not a question of “if” but “when” the United States will leave the council. The council is meeting for three weeks through July 6.
The United States, under Donald Trump, has made it an agenda line item to withdraw from multilateral agendas. Among the country’s removals are the Paris Climate Agreement and the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Stevens has also stepped up requests to remove countries that have displayed severe rights violations which currently include Venezuela, China, and Saudi Arabia.
While the United States has helped draft many of the human rights regulations now used by the council, the country was also recently accused of violating those very rules. Joy Reid succinctly explained in a tweet how the United States is violating basic human rights for the children of undocumented immigrants.
.@MARIATERESA1: We were the ones that helped craft human rights policy. The UN came in last week and told us that we are violating human rights laws according to international standards we crafted as Americans. We have to make sure that we are present… #AMJoy #ImmigrantChildren pic.twitter.com/Hni5og6vlZ
— AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) June 17, 2018
The United States has threatened on several occasions under President Trump to pull out of the United Nations altogether. Right before President Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, Nikki Haley spoke in front of the UN, threatening to leave the organization.
Experts warn that the U.S. withdrawing could lead to Israel being even more isolated in the Human Rights Council and could bolster countries such as Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan, and Russia. Those countries see the council as a vehicle for interfering with sovereign issues.