World

US Withdraws From UN Human Rights Council, Day After UNHRC Slams Mexico Border Separations

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
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| June 20 , 2018 , 10:10 IST

Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday announced that the United States is withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council (UNRHC). Haley's announcement came a day after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights slammed the separation of children from their parents at the US-Mexico border as "unconscionable."

Based on a new US policy, children are being separated from their parents as the families were attempting to cross the US-Mexico border and seek asylum in the US.

The US Ambassador to the UN further accused the UNHRC of bias against US ally Israel, and failing to hold human rights abusers accountable. She also claimed that US calls for reform were not heeded to.  

"Human rights abusers continue to serve on, and be elected to, the council," said Haley.

"The world's most inhumane regimes continue to escape its scrutiny, and the council continues politicizing scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in its ranks," she said.

"For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias," Haley said.

"When a so-called Human Rights Council cannot bring itself to address the massive abuses in Venezuela and Iran, and it welcomes the Democratic Republic of Congo as a new member, the council ceases to be worthy of its name," she said.

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US Vice President Mike Pence, in a statement accused the UNHRC of making a mockery of itself and engaging in anti-American and anti-Israel invective.

"Today the U.S. took a stand against some of the world's worst human rights violators by withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council. By elevating and protecting human rights violators and engaging in smear campaigns against democratic nations, the UNHRC makes a mockery of itself, its members, and the mission it was founded on. For years, the UNHRC has engaged in ever more virulent anti-American, and anti-Israel invective and the days of U.S. participation are over," said Pence.

Meanwhile, Haley said that the US would continue to promote human rights outside of the council and would consider rejoining it in the future if reforms are made.