John Bolton: Leaving the Human Rights Council was 'decades in the making'

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announce America's withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council at the Department of State

U.S. Pulls Out Of U.N. Human Rights Council

The United States withdrew from a "hypocritical and self-serving" United Nations Human Rights Council, on June 19, over what it called against Israel and a lack of reform, a move activists warned would make advancing human rights globally even more hard.

"The US has once again brought a powerful blow to its own human rights reputation by demonstrating its disregard for the United Nations and its bodies", Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing in Moscow.

The diplomat noted that Washington's decision had dealt a powerful blow to its reputation in terms of protecting human rights.

Bolton said the US was self-governing and didn't need advice from the United Nations or other global bodies on how to run itself.

Human Rights Council as Western countries began looking for a substitute for the coveted seat.

Rep. Eliot Engel, the House Foreign Affairs top Democrat released a statement on Tuesday that showcases widespread condemnation of the organization throughout the American Senate.

But human rights groups voiced fresh complaints about the body in 2013, after China, Russia, Saudia Arabia, Algeria and Vietnam were elected members.

Many Israeli politicians rejoiced at Tuesday's announcement of the USA withdrawal from what centrist MK Yair Lapid dubbed the "Council for Terrorists' Rights."Professional diplomats in Jerusalem, however, pointed out the symbolic move could harm Israel in the long run".

The United States is the first nation to voluntarily exit the council since its inception in 2006.

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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.

"How can we stay when United States slammed the door on our account", a former senior diplomat told The Times of Israel, arguing that "once the USA has left the council because of us, we have no choice but to cut ties". "All Trump seems to care about is defending Israel".

Beyond the case of Israel, these same critics have called on the Geneva-based council to address its other glaring shortcomings.

The United States withdrew on Tuesday from what it called the "hypocritical and self-serving" forum over what it called chronic bias against its close ally Israel and a lack of reform after a year of negotiations.

"China expresses regret at the US decision to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council", China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a briefing on Wednesday, according to the news agency.

"It's clearly the right decision to get off".

But some supporters of the U.S. withdrawal said the council's evident bias against Israel, while a key concern, was just one reason justifying the U.S. action. It added that the USA criticism of the council for failing to make changes advocated by Washington appears "cynical". Libya was kicked out seven years ago. After a year off, Washington was re-elected in 2016 for its current third term.

That means the council will be left without one of its traditional defenders of human rights.

The council is a waste of time and money but does the former number three at the UN Helen Clark, who not surprisingly lost the vote to become the boss on a reform ticket, have a point?

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