Nations defend UN Human Rights Council after U.S. pullout

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters in a file

Rights group have criticized the decision as sending a message that the U.S. was turning a blind eye to abuses across the world.

Finland believes the American decision to leave the United Nations Council on Human Rights is a "setback", as Finland had hoped the USA would remain part of the body.

The US pulled out of the UNHRC on Tuesday, calling it a "cesspool of political bias". Its members are elected for three-year terms by the UN General Assembly, with a specific number of seats allocated for each region of the world.

The US has been part of the council in its current form since 2009. "Unfortunately, the council has profoundly betrayed its mission through its long and obsessive record of unfairly targeting the Middle East's only genuine democracy, the state of Israel".

The US and Australia cast the only no votes at the time, while the Israeli ambassador in Geneva attacked the council for "spreading lies against Israel".

As of Wednesday, Israel was maintaining its status as an observer to the Council.

Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon called on "the moral majority at the UN to hold all of its institutions accountable".

He added that despite some shortcomings, the Human Rights Council "has done some very good work, highlighting human rights abuses around the world, scrutinising and bringing facts to light which enable us to holding these countries to account".

She is set to serve in this important position until April 2019. " Human Rights Watch, along with Amnesty International, were major recipients of the letter". "We could have withdrawn immediately". However, Haley notes how "this step is not a retreat from human rights commitments".

"Perhaps the United States withdrawal from the UNHRC will serve as a wake-up call for all UN agencies to begin a process of systemic reform, in order to return the organization to its original mission and principles of equity and fairness", Saltzman and Mariaschin stated.

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It was the first time in the council's history that a member state quit voluntarily (Libya was kicked out seven years ago). The US feels that it doesn't need that place at the table.

China, Britain and the European Union lamented on Wednesday Washington's decision to withdraw from the United Nations.

Many Israeli politicians rejoiced at Tuesday's announcement of the USA withdrawal from what centrist MK Yair Lapid dubbed the "Council for Terrorists' Rights."Professional diplomats in Jerusalem, however, pointed out the symbolic move could harm Israel in the long run".

The council was established in 2006, replacing the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Foreign Ministry officials told Channel 10 that America's absence would make it much more hard to block anti-Israel initiatives at the Council. We make our share of mistakes, and we correct them.

"China will continue to work with other parties and make contributions to the sound development of global human rights through constructive dialogue and collaboration", he said. "Given the state of #HumanRights in today's world, the U.S. should be stepping up, not stepping back".

As the Trump administration was being slammed for separating small children from their parents on the border with Mexico, the USA made the controversial decision to leave the United Nations Human Rights Council. It was the latest withdrawal by the Trump administration from an worldwide institution.

"It's the right decision to defund the Human Rights Council".

But for many nongovernmental human rights organizations - and indeed for many individual rights advocates who have learned over recent decades to rely on American backing - the United States pullout is short-sighted.

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