Trump Admin Boycotts UN Human Rights Council Over Anti-Israel Stance

U.S. President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan walk with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny after attending a Friends of Ireland reception on Capitol Hill in Washington

U.S. President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan walk with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny after attending a Friends of Ireland reception on Capitol Hill in Washington

The US State Department criticised the United Nations council on Monday for holding its Israel debate and vowed in a statement "to vote against every resolution put forth under this agenda item".

The State Department says the United States is boycotting a session at the U.N. Human Rights Council that focuses on Palestine and other Arab occupied territories, saying it is biased against Israel.

A United Nations rights expert issued a blistering criticism of Israel's policies on Monday, deepening a row over alleged anti-Israel bias within the UN following U.S. pressure.

Lynk made the statements in a report presented to the United Nations rights council during the Geneva-based body's mandated session on Israel, known as Agenda Item Seven.

Israel and its supporters, notably in Washington, have repeatedly highlighted Agenda Item Seven as evidence of the council's credibility gap, arguing it can not be effective while disproportionately targeting Israel.

The U.S. will vote against all the resolutions under the agenda item, he explained, adding that the administration will be encouraging other countries to join them.

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The move comes as the council is set to adopt several anti-Israel resolutions Monday. "It does not serve the interests of the Council to single out one country in an unbalanced matter", the States Department said in a statement.

Politico reported that the administration has been considering pulling out of the human rights council because of its anti-Israel agenda.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon also blasted the UNHRC.

"The argument that the USA has to participate in bodies like the United Nations Human Rights Council or risk losing our influence over it is ridiculous", said one senior administration official familiar with the boycott. "The time has come to end to this shameful, and even embarrassing, chapter in the history of the U.N. Members of the council must put an end to the bias in this absurd body". Bush said the new council lacked credibility and would allow human rights violators to become members.

"While it may be the only such organization devoted to human rights, the Human Rights Council requires considerable reform in order for us to continue to participate", Tillerson said in the letter obtained by Foreign Policy. Under former President George W. Bush, the USA never participated in council debates, but former President Barack Obama believed it was important for the country to engage with the group.

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