The U.S.is threatening to quit the United Nations Human Rights Council unless the body institutes a series of reforms and stops singling out Israel for criticism, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said.
Later Tuesday, Haley was scheduled to make an address to the Geneva Graduate Institute, where she said she will outline a plan to make the Council "more effective, more accountable and more responsive". Countries should have to compete for membership, thus making it much harder for human rights abusers to slip through, Haley argued.
The council risks becoming as discredited as its predecessor, the Human Rights Commission, Haley said.
She then drew a contrast with the way the Council treated Venezuela and the way it treated Israel. "We seek to reestablish the council's legitimacy", Haley said.
Haley, who has been acting to cancel the Council's permanent Agenda Item Seven, a regular slot calling for the examination of the human rights situation in "Palestine and other occupied Arab territories", said the U.S.is "starting to see a turn" in the UN's attitude toward Israel.
Haley also blasted a standing agenda item to discuss human rights violations by Israel, referring it as a "central flaw" in the council.
She urged the UN Human Rights Council to throw out abusive regimes and end what she called its "anti-Israel bias", warning that its credibility was at stake. President George W. Bush's administration refused to join the council, a decision reversed under President Barack Obama in 2009.
"The United States will not sit quietly while this body, supposedly dedicated to human rights, continues to damage the cause of human rights".
KELEMEN: At a time when the U.S.is pulling out of a global climate agreement and questioning longstanding alliances, Donahoe worries about the signal Trump would send if he also backs away from the U.N.'s leading human rights body.
"The connection between the commissioner and human rights has proven to be purely coincidental and it comes as no surprise that he chose to spread lies about Israel before he even mentioned the massacres in Syria", Danon wrote. Earlier, U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein gave a wide-ranging speech that denounced suffering of both Palestinians and Jews, and called for greater access for rights experts to investigate alleged crimes in countries worldwide.
Haley will host a panel on "Human Rights and Democracy in Venezuela" later on Tuesday before travelling to Israel on Wednesday.
"It's hard to take Ambassador Haley seriously on USA support for human rights in light of Trump administration actions like the Muslim ban and immigration crackdowns". "We hope her speech marks a turning point in the Trump Administration's approach to global leadership, and that the United States finds the courage to speak about failures to uphold human rights wherever they may occur, not just in countries deemed as adversaries".