USA envoy Nikki Haley berates human rights groups

USA envoy Nikki Haley berates human rights groups

USA envoy Nikki Haley berates human rights groups

The announcement came after the top United Nations human rights official criticised Washington for separating migrant children from their parents who are seeking asylum after arrival from Mexico.

The European Union said the move "risks undermining the role of the U.S. as a champion and supporter of democracy on the world stage", while British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called it "regrettable".

Haley urged the groups to play a constructive, not destructive, role in human rights in the future.

Washington has always been pursuing double standards and its withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council once again confirms this, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Wednesday. That is the view of the country's Ambassador to Geneva where the Council is based, after the dramatic withdrawal of the United States from the human rights body.

Elizabeth Wilde, deputy head of mission in Geneva for Australia, said her country "shares numerous U.S.'s concerns about the HRC", but will continue to support the council "despite its flaws".

Acknowledging the council's faults, she nevertheless says the U.S. absence will hurt most those the United States has traditionally sought to defend.

But Haley cited longstanding US complaints that the 47-member council is biased against Israel.

"This decision is counterproductive to American national security and foreign policy interests and will make it more hard to advance human rights priorities and aid victims of abuse around the world", the organizations said in a joint statement.

Israel's Ambassador Aviva Raz Shechter during a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on May 18, 2018, which voted for an investigation into Gaza border violence.

"Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy with numerous world's worst human rights abuses going ignored and some of the world's most serious offenders sitting on the Council itself", he said. "On the contrary. We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights".

Haley has been the driving force behind withdrawing from the human rights body, unprecedented in the 12-year history of the council.

But the main US objection was the council's Agenda Item 7, which mandates discussion of Israel at each of the three annual sessions.

This followed Israel's unprecedented boycott of one of the council's reviews, alleging unfair criticism from the body.

Washington's retreat - officially notified to the world body on Wednesday - is the latest US rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Charbonneau cited a commission of inquiry set up for war-torn Syria, saying that it "has been working for the last seven years uncovering ghastly abuses and reporting publicly on them"; the establishment of a fact-finding mission on Myanmar, "where we've seen ethnic cleansing on a scale that is mind-blogging"; as well as "looking at the problems in South Sudan, Burundi, Congo and North Korea".

The US has long shielded its ally Israel at the United Nations.

Under President Barack Obama the U.S. was elected for a maximum of two consecutive terms on the council by the UN General Assembly. Israel has never been a member, but despite a call to boycott the council from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman past year, has up to now cooperated with it, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon. Member states are elected by the UN General Assembly; it is now unclear when and how a replacement for the USA will be selected, or whether formally the U.S. will remain an observer until December 31, 2019.

The United States' current term on the council ends next year.

"When the Human Rights Council was first stood up back in 2006 the ambassador to the United Nations at the time was John Bolton, who persuaded then-President Bush not to join the body for the reasons that Haley today spelled out", said Al Jazeera's Jordan.

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