United States exit from Human Rights Council 'opportunity for Australia'

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters. Haley says the U.S. is withdrawing from UN Human Rights Council calling it'not worthy of its name

Membership of the council, established in 2006 to replace the disgraced Human Rights Commission, has always been controversial. "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". The United States was half-way through a three-year term on the Geneva-based 47-member body. These have included overlooking the violations of some of the world's most oppressive dictatorships and even honoring some of the most flagrant abusers of human rights with seats on the council.

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

"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.

"Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy with numerous world's worst human rights abuses going ignored and some of the world's most serious offenders sitting on the Council itself", he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office called the U.S. decision "courageous, " saying it was "an unequivocal statement that enough is enough".

"The value of an global body committed to defending human rights can not be understated", Lauder added. Several human rights NGOs, including some worldwide groups that represent a large number of such NGOs, opposed the "reforms". "The Council ceases to be worthy of its name", she said. LGBTQ rights are human rights.

The country initially refused to join the council when it was created in 2006, arguing that the body admitted nations with questionable human rights records.

"W$3 hen organizations undermine our national interests and our allies, we will not be complicit", Secretary Pompeo declared when he announced the decision to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council. "But that is precisely why we must leave".

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Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, blamed campaigners for contributing to the pullout by playing a "deconstructive role".

The council needed reform, said campaigners, but remained a vital force for accountability and justice in a "post-rights world".

"You should know that your efforts to block negotiations and thwart reform were a contributing factor in the us 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.

"We also appreciate the important efforts pursued by members of Congress on a bipartisan basis over many years to combat the council's bias against our democratic ally", AIPAC concluded.

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. "President [Barack] Obama made a foolish mistake by rejoining", Coleman pointed out.

Well that's what happens, 68 resolutions condemning the Jewish state while just 67 against everyone else with Syria copping 20, North Korea nine, Iran six and Sudan three.

The US has long had a conflicted relationship with the UNHRC and says it has to be reformed.

Officials at the United Nations in NY say the U.S. decision is regrettable - and one that Secretary-General Guterres in particular is unhappy to see. "The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights".

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