US withdraws from UN Human Rights Council

Nikki Haley — Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations — has announced the United States’ withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC).

The announcement follows the UN’s condemnation of US president Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has resulted in the separation of families at the US-Mexico border. 

On Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called on Washington to halt its child separation policy.

Haley’s announcement comes a month after the UNHRC voted to probe the killing of Palestinians in Gaza by Israeli security forces. The human rights council has accused Israel of using excessive force.

In her announcement on Tuesday Haley — who has repeatedly accused the UNHRC of bias against Israel — said, “We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights.” 


In statement released in March this year, Haley accused the UNHRC of treating Israel “worse than North Korea, Iran, and Syria”, calling the human rights body, “foolish and unworthy of its name.”

Set up in 2006, the 47-nation council was boycotted by the US during George W Bush’s presidency, before rejoining during Barack Obama’s tenure in 2009.

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Kiri Rupiah
Kiri Rupiah is the online editor at the Mail & Guardian.

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