UN rights chief decries Palestinian, Israeli suffering


United Nations officials say the council is a reflection of the world and that human rights would be worse off if it did not exist, while acknowledging its shortcomings.

U.S. Diplomat Michele Sison spoke out against what the U.S. considers "unfair singling out of Israel" during a closed session of the U.N. Security Council May 24.

He also alluded to Haley's comments earlier Tuesday that the United States might withdraw from the council unless it carries out reforms sought by Washington.

Haley in an op-ed for The Washington Post on Friday said she planned to outline necessary changes to the council during her visit to Geneva this week.

Only some members of the United Nations have a seat on the council, which is responsible for reviewing countries human rights records.

John Fisher, the head of the Human Rights Watch, has said that they expect the US Ambassador will call for reforms.

She said "the presence of multiple human rights-violating countries. has damaged both the reputation of the council and the cause of human rights".

"It reinforces our growing suspicion that the Human Rights Council is not a good investment of our time, money and national prestige", she added.

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.

The director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Human Rights Program, Jamil Dakwar, heard Haley's remarks and criticized the ambassador.

Nikki Haley also decried a "campaign of violence and intimidation" by Venezuela's government, during a side event organized by the United States on the sidelines of the Human Rights Council session in Geneva. She also will meet with Palestinian leaders, Israeli media reported.

She described Israel as having a "strong human rights record", phrasing that drew scattered laughter from the crowd at the institute.

The Trump administration has also strongly criticized the United Nations for a Security Council resolution previous year that condemned Israeli settlement construction on the occupied Palestinian territories. The Obama administration rejoined, in part to defend US interests.

Activist groups responded to Haley suggesting a withdrawal would be "counterproductive" and may result in the Council "unfairly targeting Israel to an even greater degree". Thus far, the Trump Administration's foreign policy appears geared toward diminishing the United States' moral authority and alienating our closest partners in the struggle for universal human rights.

"We need to tell them what we want to see to make it effective". "It's the best way to keep serial rights abusers off the council".