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US expected to disengage from UN’s Human Rights Council


JUNE 19, 2018

US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, arrives for a UN Security Council meeting, at United Nations Headquarters in New York, on April 14, 2018. The UN Security Council on Saturday opened a meeting at Russia’s request to discuss military strikes carried out by the United States, France and Britain on Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack. Russia circulated a draft resolution calling for condemnation of the military action, but Britain’s ambassador said the strikes were “both right and legal” to alleviate humanitarian suffering in Syria. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)

The US is expected to disengage with the UN Human Rights Council over anti-Israel bias, a senior US official, a diplomatic source and several activists tell CNN.

The announcement is expected as soon as Tuesday, the sources said.

The anticipated move follows months of talks between the US and UN member states in New York and Geneva, where the Human Rights Council is based, on reforming the agenda of the council. In addition to concerns about agenda items singling out Israel, the US also wanted more stringent criteria for membership and the ability to kick countries that have egregious human rights records off the council.

During an address to the body in Geneva last year, Haley warned the US would pull out of the council without substantial reforms.

It’s not clear if the US is formally notifying the UN it is withdrawing or will leave the seat empty for the session, which started this week and extends through July.

Several non-government organizations have sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo decrying the expected decision.


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