UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has hailed what he termed the “very important role” of the Human Rights Council, following U.S. withdrawal, citing alleged bias against Israel.
Guterres said he would have “much preferred” the U.S. remain.
In a statement issued by Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric, Guterres said that the Geneva-based Human Rights Council was a part of the UN’s overall “Human Rights architecture”, which “plays a very important role in the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide”.
The Human Rights Council is a 47-member inter-governmental body within the UN system, that not only seeks to promote and protect human rights, but also addresses alleged rights violations and makes recommendations on them.
It is a forum for discussing all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention, throughout the year, while the members are elected by the UN General Assembly.
“The Secretary-General would have much preferred for the United States to remain in the Human Rights Council,” the UN chief stated.
The U.S. announced when its UN Ambassador Nikki Haley appeared together with Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in Washington.
They accused the Council of displaying entrenched bias against Israel, and criticised what they said was the body’s willingness to admit nations which were themselves human rights abusers.
Haley, however, noted that the move did not signify in any way, that the U.S. was retreating from its own human rights commitments (NAN)