Fri07202018

LAST_UPDATEFri, 20 Jul 2018 6pm

Australia "Disappointed" By US Withdrawal From UN Human Rights Council

 Julie Bishop. Julie Bishop.

SYDNEY -- Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop spoke out on Wednesday about the United State's decision to turn their backs on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Xinhua reported.

"Australia is disappointed by the decision of the United States to resign from the United Nations Human Rights Council," she said in a statement.

"It was our strong preference for the United States to remain a member of the UNHRC and I had made this known to senior members of the Trump Administration."

Predominantly tasked with investigating alleged human rights abuses around the world and designing solutions to address any violations, the 47 member institution was established by the UN General Assembly in 2006, to promote and protect international human rights.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on Tuesday announced the US decision to pull out from the UN body.

She described the council as "hypocritical and self-serving," citing "bias against Israel" as one of the reasons for the decision to leave.

While the Australian government also shares many of the concerns held by the United States when it comes to anti-Israel bias, Bishop said Australia remains commitment to a "strong multilateral human rights system and to advancing human rights globally."

"It is in our national interest to shape the work of the council and uphold the international rules-based order," she said. Although the move has shocked many political observers, the United States under President Donald Trump, has made a pattern of withdrawing from a number of multilateral arrangements.

Since 2017, the United States has left the Paris Climate Accord, tore up the Iran nuclear deal and walked away from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The news of the United States' latest high profile exit in global diplomacy comes just 48 hours after UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein publicly criticised Washington for their own alleged abuses of human rights.

During the past six weeks it's estimated that nearly 2,000 migrant children have been forcibly separated from their parents as part of the US border protection policy.

Haley also did not fully close the door on the council, suggesting the United States would "be happy to rejoin" if the council moves to adopt a string of reforms she advocated for last year.

--BERNAMA