The United States leaves the UN Human Rights forum for being “hypocritical and selfish”

Israel supported the decision of the North American nation, but it will remain alone in the Council that punishes it more strongly

The United States leaves the UN Human Rights forum for being "hypocritical and selfish"

The decision of the United States comes amid the intense criticism received by the government of Donald Trump for his policy of separating immigrant children from their parents when they are arrested trying to cross the border illegally, a measure that has already been revoked. For human rights advocacy organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), the human rights policy of the Trump government is becoming "one-dimensional."

Leer en español: Estados Unidos abandona el foro de Derechos Humanos de la ONU por ser “hipócrita y egoísta”

"The UN Human Rights Council has played an important role in countries like North Korea, Myanmar, Syria or South Sudan, but all that seems to matter to Trump is defending Israel," said the executive director of HRW Kenneth Roth. In fact, Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, mentioned that Israel is the only case that is present in all council sessions.

The reasons

In her speech of voluntary retirement of the advice, Haley assured that "we take this step because our commitment does not allow us to continue being part of a hypocritical and selfish organization that mocks of human rights". In the company of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Haley assured that there is a bias against Israel and that other countries that are chronic human rights violators such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo are received in the Council and are even made full members.

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For Nada Tawfik, a BBC correspondent in New York, the North American country could have done more by pursuing its ideals of change with internal pressure. "Now, although Israel welcomed the announcement, it leaves its biggest ally alone, Russia can run for the vacuum left by the United States, therefore the sanctions will no longer have anyone to defend them. Netanyahu should not have allowed the exit either, echoing his own interests. "

Announcement’s reactions

For the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, the decision of the United States is regrettable, in a statement said that "I would have preferred that the United States remain in the Council, and fight for the interests of the Council from a multilateral organ." UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, described the decision as "disappointing and really surprising news", it is worth mentioning that the United States' decision was vehemently criticized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to separate the minors from their parents in the southern border of the North American country.

For the European Union is sad that the United States separates from the council, but took the opportunity to "reiterate the commitment of the bloc to fight for Human Rights in every corner of the planet," said Bulgaria's ambassador, Deyana Kostadinova, a country that holds the rotating presidency of the bloc.

Also read: Has Europe ceased to be a region that protects human rights?

So far, only Israel has expressed support to the decision made by the Donald Trump government; however, as Tawfik clarifies, it is a premature support to a Council that constantly condemns the violations of Rights by the country led by Netanyahu.

Although the departure from the United States occurred in the midst of the controversy over immigration policy, in 2017 Haley had warned about the possibility of leaving the agency, accusing a "bias" in the situation of Israel and criticizing the decision to "accept countries like Venezuela and Cuba", the analysts of the Deutsche Welle chain say.

For Kenneth Roth of HRW, this announcement confirms Donald Trump's policy of withdrawing from forums and international agreements, as he did with Unesco, the nuclear agreement with Iran, and the Paris agreement on climate change. "The policy of the United States is leading it to isolationism, and no one wants to follow it, on the contrary, even its great allies will at some point abandon it, since it is fighting for its individual interests and not thinking of a group," said Roth of the press

The Human Rights Council is composed of 47 members. There are 14 countries that are not considered "free" by the Freedom House organization, a list that includes Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba and Venezuela. The former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, also conditioned his participation to a "considerable" reform and if the bias against Israel persisted. At that time, an evaluation process was started on the effectiveness of the organ, although he was skeptical.

Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella
Translated from “Estados Unidos abandona el foro de Derechos Humanos de la ONU por ser “hipócrita y egoísta””

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