The United States has pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, with Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley calling it "a mockery of human rights" for allowing China - among other countries - to join, and for a rule that scrutinises Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people.
The United States is half-way through a three-year term on the main U.N. rights body and had long threatened to quit if it was not reformed, accusing the 47-member Geneva-based body of being anti-Israel.
Haley blasted the United Nations body as a "hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights" and "is not worthy of its name". In a speech to the council a year ago, Haley called out the body for what she said was its "relentless, pathological campaign" against Israel.
Washington, some European countries and Australia have also sided with Israel in condemning Item 7 as prejudiced, claiming that other countries with abysmal rights records in recent years, like Syria, are spared such intense scrutiny.
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The decision, should it come to pass, would occur after months of talks between the USA and other member countries, with the US critical of agenda items singling out Israel for condemnation over its treatment of Palestinians.
"We will continue to lead on human rights outside the misnamed human rights council". Trump's announcement will arrive just days after the UN's high commissioner said the United States was engaging in human rights violations by separating children from their parents at the southern border crossing.
She had been threatening the pull-out since past year unless the council made changes advocated by the U.S.
But, he added: "What is clear is that the secretary-general is a strong believer in the human rights architecture of the United Nations and the active participation of all member states in that architecture". "The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable".
The presence of multiple human rights-violating countries on the Human Rights Council has damaged both the reputation of the council and the cause of human rights.
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Under the Obama administration, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation. Nearly 52,000 people were caught trying to cross the southern border illegally in May, according to government figures.
The council was formed in 2006, with the goal of helping to ensure human rights were upheld worldwide.
Rights groups accused the United States of withdrawing from its global obligations to protect human rights.
In May, the council voted to send a team of worldwide investigators to probe the deadly shootings of Gaza protesters by Israeli forces.
The United States could choose to stay on as a non-voting member, but that does not appear to be the direction the administration wishes to take.
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