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Haley blasts rights groups for undermining US

Haley blasts rights groups for undermining US

In citing what it says is bias against Israel, the administration of President Donald Trump could further fuel Palestinian arguments that Washington cannot be a neutral mediator as it prepares to roll out a Middle East peace plan.

"China will continue to work with other parties and make contributions to the sound development of worldwide human rights through constructive dialogue and collaboration", he said. "It is bad news, I think for the United States, it is bad news for everybody who cares about human rights", Slovenian President Borut Pahor told the 47-member forum in Geneva where the US seat was empty.

"Let me say it very clearly, if human rights issues are not discussed here, in this very room, they have little chance to be dealt with meaningfully anywhere else", he told the council's 38th session, hours after Washington announced its pullout.

The announcement came after the top United Nations human rights official criticised Washington for separating migrant children from their parents who are seeking asylum after arrival from Mexico.

So, how will this decision impact the global fight to protect human rights? "Such a council, in fact, damages the cause of human rights", Haley said.

Washington's withdrawal is the latest US rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Item 7 on "Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories" has been part of the council's regular business nearly as long as it has existed.

But Israel and the United States have long held that the UNHRC has been held hostage to geopolitical interests.

China, Britain and the European Union lamented on Wednesday Washington's decision to withdraw from the Human Rights Council as Western countries began looking for a substitute for the coveted seat. "You put yourself on the side of Russian Federation and China, and opposite the United States, on a key human rights issue", Haley wrote. The official wasn't authorized to comment publicly and insisted on anonymity.

Dujarric said the council, which reviews the human rights records of United Nations, and special investigators who work on rights issues "play a critical role in protecting and promoting human rights across the world". "The world's most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny, and the council continues politicizing and scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks".

Haley and Pompeo stressed the decision had been made after a long year of efforts to shame the council into reform and to remove member states that themselves commit abuses.

Russia's foreign ministry had earlier accused the USA of "gross cynicism" and "disregard" for the United Nations.

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

"This suggestion that somehow it's the human rights groups that are undermining the USA attempts to improve the Human Rights Council is preposterous", said Charbonneau.

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

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