Haley: US May Leave UN Human Rights Body If 'Violators' Remain
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 12, 2017,
Jun 12, 2017, 3:12
She named Venezuela, Cuba, China, Burundi, and Saudi Arabia as not upholding the highest standards despite their membership and said that the forum was becoming "discredited" like its predecessor body, the Human Rights Commission.
"We were talking with some ambassadors in Geneva and, that are all on the Human Rights Council, and we talked to them about Agenda Item Seven, some of them, they were embarrassed by it and they acknowledge the fact that it just makes no sense".
"It's hard to accept that this council has never considered a resolution on Venezuela, and yet it adopted five biased resolutions in March against a single country, Israel", Haley told the 47 member states gathered in Geneva.
Haley criticized the UNHRC for failing to issue resolutions against Venezuela for violations of human rights.
The US ambassador to the United Nations also said that she believes that Washington has made it clear to the United Nations member states that they can no longer continue their anti-Israel behavior.
While Haley told the Council that the U.S.is "looking carefully" at USA participation in the body, she refrained from giving an outright ultimatum in her address.
"I don't know what the policy of the administration is, but I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that that is how we've always seen it and that's how we should pursue it", she said in a May 17 interview. "We seek to reestablish the council's legitimacy", Haley said.
Danon will accompany Haley throughout most of the trip, except during her meetings with the Palestinians and while she takes a private tour of Jerusalem's holy sites. "We seek to re-establish the council's legitimacy", Washington's United Nations ambassador told an audience at the Graduate Institute of worldwide and Development Studies in Geneva. President George W. Bush's administration refused to join the council, a decision reversed under President Barack Obama in 2009.
"Regardless of the party in power, the USA needs to lead by example and practice what it preaches on human rights", he continued. "It's hard to take Ambassador Haley seriously on United States support for human rights in light of Trump administration actions like the Muslim ban and immigration crackdowns", Jamil Dakwar, director of the human rights programme at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told Reuters.
The ACLU called on the U.S. to make human rights a priority at home, and then could it "begin to credibly demand the same of other countries overseas". The ambassador's readiness to approach the Council's problems with an open mind, and willingness to work with partners to bring about needed changes, offers a more positive alternative. Countries should have to compete for membership, thus making it much harder for human rights abusers to slip through, Haley argued.
Haley made the remarks at the 35th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations' European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday.