United States exits UN rights body

Russia strongly rebuffed U.S. criticism of its air strikes in Syria on Tuesday reminding Washington how it had support

"We will not participate in Human Rights Council sessions going forward, including in the session now underway".

And will this further isolate the United States on the world stage?

Rights groups have criticized the Trump administration for not making human rights a priority in its foreign policy.

Slovenian ambassador Vojislav Suc, who now holds the council's rotating presidency and has been pushing a faltering reform drive, described the Geneva-based chamber as the best place to trigger action on risky rights crises.

China today said it is "disappointed" with the U.S. decision to withdraw from the United Nations human rights body.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers remarks to the press together with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (not pictured), announcing the U.S.'s withdrawal from the U.N's Human Rights Council at the Department of State in Washington, U.S., June 19, 2018.

The US and Australia cast the only "no" votes.

"We know that when it comes to Israel the Council is not interested in the facts", she said.

Haley says the organizations wrote a joint letter to members of the Human Rights Council urging them to oppose a USA -sponsored resolution to reform it.

"In doing so, I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from human rights commitments; on the contrary, we take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights". It complained that several human-right abusers had seats, and there was "chronic" anti-Israel bias.

Inherently biased organizations should not be legitimized by United States membership, proponents of the U.S. quitting UNESCO and the Human Rights Council say.

"China will continue, working with all sides, to make its contribution to the healthy development of human rights around the world via constructive dialogue and cooperation", he added. In addition to the perceived bias against Israel, Haley cited the council's alleged hypocrisy among varying governments.

Since January 2017, it has announced its withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, left the United Nations educational and cultural organization and pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

"In the larger scheme of things, this really is a way of standing by its ally, Israel, but also using the opportunity to try to exert its own vision of human rights - even though a number of global human rights groups are roundly criticising the Trump administration for leaving the council".

Pointing to the United States withdrawal under Trump from the Paris Climate Accords, the Iran nuclear deal, and heightened USA friction with allies as seen at the recent G7 summit, the official adds, "You could make the case for each action individually, but if you put it all together you have to wonder what it says about the direction of the U.S.".

The United Nations' Human Rights Council returned to business as usual Wednesday despite the USA pulling out a day earlier. It has mandated independent investigators to look at situations including Syria, North Korea, Myanmar and South Sudan.

Under President Barack Obama the U.S. was elected for a maximum of two consecutive terms on the council by the UN General Assembly.

They've failed to condemn the likes of Chechnya or even Zimbabwe, not current council members, so what's the point of this body which employs truckloads of functionaries in the ultra expensive capital of wealth, Geneva.

Under President George W Bush, the USA boycotted the body for three years after its establishment 12 years ago.

When the Council was created in 2006, US President George W. Bush's administration shunned the body.

"We have lost a member who has been at the forefront of liberty for generations".

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