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China ‘expresses regret’ over United States withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

21 June 2018

"You should know that your efforts to block negotiations and thwart reform were a contributing factor in the usa decision to withdraw from the Council", Haley wrote in the letter to NGOs, which was obtained by POLITICO with the recipient's name blacked out.

Haley also said the "disproportionate focus and unending hostility towards Israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley confirmed the nation's exit during a joint appearance at the State Department. "Of course Finland is committed to the work of the Human Rights Council and based on our experiences we would have hoped that the U.S. would have continued that co-operation". "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". China, which has on multiple occasions voiced support for multilateral institutions abandoned by US President Donald Trump, portrayed the council as "a major body.to promote the realization of human rights".

Human rights groups had also raised concerns about giving the DRC a seat at the council, citing the violence in Kasai, the murder of two United Nations experts who were investigating mass graves there, and the arrests of scores of opposition demonstrators.

Others say it is the United States fixation on defending Israel and not in fact any unwillingness by the council to address other cases of rights abuse that explains the U.S. withdrawal.

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Still, she suggested the decision need not be permanent, adding that if the council did adopt reforms, "we would be happy to rejoin it". We have a Constitution.

In the past, they argued, the USA, while alone in defending Israel, could at least exert some influence, for example with regards to the election of a new high commissioner for human rights or the publication of a blacklist of Israel companies operating in the West Bank.

The decision to withdraw was announced by USA ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

"The council's continued and well-documented bias against Israel is unconscionable", Pompeo said.

"By attacking and blaming NGOs for its own failure, the Trump administration is taking a page out of the book of some of the worst governments around the world", said Charbonneau. But the Human Rights Council is especially important symbolically because of its persistent criticisms of Israel.

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"The UNHRC has perverted its stated mandate by serially abusing Israel, while horrific human rights abuses around the world receive scant attention, if at all", Hier and Cooper went on to say. Libya was kicked off.

Item 7 addresses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and rights abuses in Israel and by Israel in the adjacent occupied territories. And the move is also unprecedented, because the U.S.is the first country to leave the council without being forced out. The U.S., as at other United Nations organizations, is Israel's biggest defender.

The council has 47 members that are elected for three-year terms.

Bulgaria's Ambassador Deyana Kostadinova, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the United States had been a "strong partner" at the talks.

He noted he voted against creating the council when he served as U.N. Ambassador during the George W. Bush administration.

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It only joined in 2009 under President Barack Obama, and won re-election to the council in 2012.

China ‘expresses regret’ over United States withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council