United States leaves ‘hypocritical’ UN Human Rights Council, citing China and Israel

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson attends the Human Rights Council at the United Nations

The announcement came just a day after the United Nations human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents.

In a span of less than two months, USA officials have separated some 2,300 children from their parents after they crossed the border into the US, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The most recent tension between the US and the council came Monday, when the U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called Mr. Trump's zero-tolerance policy that has caused family separation at the border "unconscionable".

She said the U.S.had tried for the past year to reform the council, but to no avail, adding. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said it was regrettable and that the council was the "best tool the global community has to address impunity". 'The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights'.

In particular, the council's focus on Israeli behavior towards Palestinians in the territory it occupies on the West Bank and in Gaza has infuriated Washington. Even many who agree with Washington's long standing criticisms of the body believe the United States should actively work to reform it from within, rather than disengaging. No other country has such a mandate leveled against it.

Instead, the U.S. State making the historic move to protest what it calls is the Council's anti-Israel bias. From 2012 to 2016, the UNHRC adopted 123 condemnatory resolutions against specific countries.

The US has pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, calling it a "cesspool of political bias".

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When the official announcement is made, this story will be updated with additional information.

She said the decision was an affirmation of U.S. respect for human rights, a commitment that "does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights".

Rights groups accused the United States of withdrawing from its global obligations to protect human rights. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein on Monday called on Washington to halt its "unconscionable" policy. She said that the UNHRC was a "forum for politics, hypocrisy and evasion", that included major human rights violators such as Venezuela, Cuba, China, Burundi and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile the campaign group Human Rights Watch criticised President Trump's human rights policy as "one-dimensional".

This is the first time since the Human Rights Council was formed in 2006 that a sitting member would volunteer to step aside, though Libya was suspended in 2011 after a government crackdown on unarmed protesters. Ambassador Haley has accused the council of a "relentless, pathological campaign" against Israel, and said the United States would leave unless the body gets rid of its "chronic anti-Israel bias".

Known as "Item 7", this item means that Israel's treatment of the Palestinians comes under scrutiny at each of three annual sessions.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley plan to announce the withdrawal at the State Department at 5pm, according to two anonymous sources close to the matter, Bloomberg reports.