“The UN human rights council has played an important role in such countries as North Korea, Syria, Myanmar and South Sudan, but all Trump seems to care about is defending Israel.”
— Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch
The US is withdrawing from the United Nations human rights council, the Trump administration announced on Tuesday, calling it a “cesspool of political bias” that targets Israel in particular while ignoring atrocities in other countries.
The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said she had traveled to the council’s headquarters in Geneva a year ago to call for reforms, to no avail.
“Regrettably it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded,” Haley told reporters at the state department. “Human rights abusers continue to serve on, and be elected to, the council.”
“I don’t know when there was last a resolution put to the Security Council that only got one vote in favor.”
— Al Jazeera correspondent James Bays
The United States has voted against a Kuwait-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution calling for the protection of Palestinian civilians, while being the only country to back its own measure condemning Hamas for the recent violence in the Gaza Strip.
More than 120 Palestinians have been killed and thousands wounded by Israeli forces during weeks-long peaceful protests in the besieged Gaza Strip near the fence with Israel. Among the victims have been medical professionals and journalists.
Ten countries, including Russia and France, voted in favour of the Kuwait-sponsored resolution on Friday.
Four others — Britain, Poland, the Netherlands and Ethiopia — abstained, while the US, a major ally of Israel, was the only country to vote against it.
“When the Human Rights Council treats Israel worse than North Korea, Iran and Syria, it is the council itself that is foolish and unworthy of its name.”
— US Ambassador Nikki Haley
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed the UN Human Rights Council on Friday, saying that “the United States would continue to examine our membership” in the organization following a series of decisions the council took against Israel’s policy in the occupied territories.
Sources in Brussels told Haaretz that most European countries supported decisions only after their wording was softened so as not to evoke immediate practical significance.
The US said it was losing patience with the UN Human Rights Council, threatening again to quit the international body after the organization passed five resolutions against Israel.