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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

US withdraws from the Human Rights Council in Geneva

Por Damian

The United States announced on Tuesday its exit from the Human Rights Council of the UN, an international body to which the government of President Donald Trump has criticized harshly for what it considers a bias in relation to Israel and for serving as a platform for countries such as China, Venezuela and Cuba.

"The United States officially withdraws from the UN Human Rights Council", UN ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement to the press, which did not accept questions at the end of the meeting.

Haley, who already threatened last year to withdraw the United States from that Council based in Geneva, explained that during the last months he has tried to resolve "in good faith" the problems of the UN organ, meeting with representatives of more than 125 member countries. During her speech, the ambassador strongly criticized that within the Council there are countries such as China, Venezuela, Cuba or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, nations that, according to her, "do not respect" human rights.

For this reason and for the "chronic damage" of the Council against Israel, according to Haley, this entity "is not worthy of its name". As for his part, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, also present in this statement, applauded the figure of Haley as an ambassador to the UN and called the Council a "hypocritical" organism. "We do not doubt that its creation was in good faith, but we have to be honest: The UN Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights", said Pompeo.

The withdrawal of Washington from Geneva is the country's last rejection of multilateral commitments after having abandoned the Paris Climate Agreement and Iran's nuclear agreement in recent months. However, Pompeo said that the Trump Executive "has no opposition to working with multilateral institutions", although he said that "he will not be an accomplice" of the Human Rights Council. "The United States leads the world in humanitarian assistance; he will not take lessons from hypocrites ", Pompeo added.

This announcement came a day after the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced the separation of hundreds of immigrant children from their parents on the southern border in recent months. Human rights activists fear that a withdrawal from the United States will affect the funds of the Council, given that Washington makes contributions so that its mechanisms of investigation and supervision in the world can operate.