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Allies unhappy with United States walkout from UN body

21 June 2018

In May, the council voted to send a team of worldwide investigators to probe the deadly shootings of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli snipers in the Gaza Strip during weeks-long rallies protests the Great March of Return along the fence with Israel.

The Americans complain about the constant carping on Israel, which of course should be criticised, but every time the council convenes? "Since its creation, the council has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than against the rest of the world combined".

In a letter, Ms Haley said groups worked "opposite the United States" and were partially to blame for the U.S. withdrawal from the body.

US President Donald Trump backed down on Wednesday on an immigration policy that sparked outrage at home and overseas, signing an executive.

"The only thing worse than a council that does nearly nothing to protect human rights is a council that covers for human rights abuses, and is therefore an obstacle to progress and an impediment to change", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the State Department Tuesday.

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"But today we need to be honest", Pompeo said.

No-one, she argues, is lily white when it comes to human rights, not the least America which has allowed kids to be "ripped away from their parents".

The United States announced Tuesday it was leaving the United Nations' Human Rights Council, with Ambassador Nikki Haley calling it "an organization that is not worthy of its name".

Among the consequences of a president as morally deficient as this, none is as serious as giving human rights abuses a shield (Trump said others do the same!) and a sword (the US government abuses children!). LGBTQ rights are human rights. "The council is not the only table out there, but it is a significant forum for advancing American values and interests in seeing human rights safeguarded and advanced around the world". 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".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley announced the decision on Wednesday, making good on a threat Haley made in Geneva a year ago. "But that is precisely why we must leave".

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To be sure, a number of countries accused of perpetrating human rights abuses, like Saudi Arabia and China, serve on the council. It's an action that will remove from the table a global power that traditionally has been one of the foremost advocates of the world's oppressed, from women and minorities to political dissidents.

Former High Court Justice Michael Kirby, who chaired the council's inquiry into rights abuses in North Korea, says Australia has a chance to be a more vocal contributor at council meetings.

The Tibet Advocacy Coalition, whose activists seek to raise attention to the situation in the autonomous region, said in a statement the US decision "will allow China much more room to obfuscate and undermine the United Nations human rights system".

"We have lost a member who has been at the forefront of liberty for generations, " Julian Braithwaite, Britain's ambassador in Geneva, told the council.

Trump could have withdrawn immediately after taking office, but instead gave the council 18 months to make changes, foundation senior fellow Brett Schaefer said. In comparison, it condemned Syria 20 times and Iran six times.

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US Ambassador to the United Nation Nikki Haley speaks at the US Department of State in Washington DC on June 19, 2018.

Allies unhappy with United States walkout from UN body