Haley says Trump believes climate is changing

Haley'President Trump believes the climate is changing

Nikki Haley

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump gave formal notice on Tuesday that it is reviewing its participation in the UN Human Rights Council, and called for reforming the body to eliminate what it called its "chronic anti-Israel bias".

The Human Rights Council was established in 2006.

On Thursday, June 1, Donald Trump withdrew the USA from the Paris Agreement, a 196-nation pact to combat climate change. About a quarter of all United Nations members get in.

The UN Human Rights Council was formed in 2006, but the USA boycotted it under George W Bush, due to its strong Israel focus and its politically repressive member countries.

"There's been a series of requests coming from the secretary of state's office that suggests that he is questioning the value of the U.S. belonging to the Human Rights Council", the former official said. She did point to a side event on human rights abuses in Venezuela and warned the socialist country that it should step away from the Council if it can not end its abuses.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says the Venezuelan government is "destroying human rights and democracy", and President Nicolas Maduro is "turning that formerly prosperous democratic nation into a rusting dictatorship".

She will be the first United States ambassador to address the rights council at the session which will be followed by a speech on the USA role at the council, the U.S. mission said.

The Indian-American lawmaker - when asked why sanctions aren't being imposed on Russian Federation - emphasised the United States isn't going easy on Russian Federation.

"This relentless, pathological campaign against a country that actually has a strong human rights record makes a mockery not of Israel, but of the Council itself", Haley said, as some in the audience interrupted briefly with laughter at the remark.

The organizations noted in a letter to the ambassador that the United States is in a uniquely influential position on the Council to advance universal values and American national interests.

As for Israel, it's also faced human rights complaints.

Eight groups, including Freedom House and the Jacob Blaustein Institute, wrote to Haley in May saying a withdrawal would be counterproductive since it could lead to the Council "unfairly targeting Israel to an even greater degree". Under George W. Bush, the USA boycotted the Council before rejoining under President Obama who wasn't as concerned about their position.

"They know that we don't condone some of the things that they do", she said.

She urged the UN Human Rights Council to throw out abusive regimes and end what she called its "anti-Israel bias", warning that its credibility was at stake.

In June, the UNHRC will hold a debate on alleged Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians under Agenda Item 7.

To make her case in the side event, Haley drew extensively from an Associated Press report in October that described the desperate medical saga of 3-year-old Ashley Pacheco, who almost died from a staphylococcus infection in Venezuela's shattered medical system.

In his speech opening the session, United Nations rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein also upbraided some council members - including Indonesia, Egypt and the Philippines - for restricting worldwide investigations into alleged abuses.

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