After signaling desires to leave the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Trump administration made it official on Tuesday. Ignoring the work that the council does, its purpose, and the symbolism of America being a part of this council, the administration went ahead with the decision because it said the council is hypocritical and biased against Israel.
“For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias,” Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, said Tuesday at the State Department in Washington.
The human rights council recently criticized President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, coming from the UN’s high commissioner for human rights himself, calling the family separation policy “unconscionable.”
America used to use a system of “catch and release” while undocumented immigrant families awaited proceedings, according to The Telegraph, until the Trump administration decided to separate families earlier this year. America separated over 2,000 from their parents, with photographs showing kids interned in interned in wire mesh cages, The Telegraph reports. ProPublica obtained a secretly recorded tape of Central American children at a detention center in Texas crying and pleading for their parents as a guard joked that “we have an orchestra here.”
BBC News reports that the move is the latest from an administration hell-bent on creating chaos regardless of the consequences. While a full withdrawal is a first, the Bush Administration decided to boycott the council for similar reasons to why the current administration did so. The United States eventually re-joined under the Obama administration until 2009, three years after the council’s creation.
Plenty of allies tried and failed convincing the United States to remain in the council, or at the least, work towards reforms rather than give up on the entire idea.
The move also comes as a worry to some who see the withdrawal as related to some of the president’s authoritarian tendencies, like praising dictators and calling for the imprisonment of political opponents without evidence. Trump recently met with the brutal North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, and his response to reporter Bret Baier when asked about North Korean human rights violations, instead of criticizing Kim, was “Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things,” adding “I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”
Established to promote human rights worldwide the council has passed more than 70 resolutions critical of Israel, 10 times as often as it has criticized Iran.
By: Edward Klein