Is the United States planning an “imminent” withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council?
According to an anonymous source that spoke with Reuters, it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. leaves the organization.
“Diplomatic sources said it was not a question of if, but when,” Reuters reports. If the U.S. did bail on the council, it would be the latest in a series of exits from international coalitions that America abandoned under President Trump. (See also: Paris Climate Agreement, Iran Nuclear Deal.)
But a different U.S. official in Geneva would not confirm those reports. “We are still moving ahead with our engagement for the coming session,” which is slated to last three weeks, through July 6.
The Human Rights Council has previously been boycotted by the United States once in its 12 year history, during the presidency of George W. Bush. The U.S. rejoined in 2009 after President Barack Obama assumed the office.
The proximate cause of contention for Nikki Haley, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, is what she calls the forum’s “chronic anti-Israel bias.” She threatened to leave the human rights council last year.
Haley says the body has “a permanent standing agenda item on suspected violations committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories,” as Reuters reports, and the United States has regularly voted against U.N. measures that interrogated Israeli action. The U.S. and Australia were the only two members of the 47-member Human Rights Council to vote against a recent proposal to investigate killings in Gaza, accusing Israel of using excessive force in the region.
Haley also feels it should be easier to boot out member states with disconcerting human rights records. On her watchlist: Venezuela, China, and Saudi Arabia.
No word on what the United States’ current treatment of immigrant children means for America’s record of human rights violations.