WANTED Full time Teaching
Faculty for Mathematics

Learn More

US Withdrawal from UNHRC

July 11, 2018
10 days

Why in news?

The United States has recently withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

How has US's HRC membership been?

  • Under President Obama, the US was elected for a maximum of 2 consecutive terms by the UNGA.
  • After a year off, it was re-elected in 2016 for the third term.
  • The US is half-way through a three-year term.
  • It would now be the first member to withdraw from the council.

What is the rationale?

  • Israel - The council recently voted to probe killings in Gaza and accused Israel of using excessive force.
  • The US and Australia cast the only “no” votes.
  • US's current move comes as a response to the alleged bias of UNHRC against Israel.
  • The disproportionate focus and unending hostility are cited as proof for the Council's political bias.
  • Immigrants - It is also a response to the intense criticism against US for detaining children at the US-Mexico border.
  • UN human rights chief called on Washington to halt its “unconscionable” separation policy.
  • Council - Trump administration had long threatened to quit if council reforms were not undertaken.
  • The US perceives the council's membership as disrespect for the most basic rights.
  • The US wants to make it easier to expel member states with poor rights records.
  • Currently, two-thirds majority of UN General Assembly is needed to suspend a member state.
  • US expressed dissatisfaction at Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting US efforts to reform the council.
  • The US has maintained that the withdrawal was not any retreat from its human rights commitments.

What are the implications?

  • Agreements - Washington’s withdrawal is the latest US rejection of multilateral engagement.
  • The earlier ones are withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement and Iran nuclear deal.
  • Reforms - HRC reform discussions are going on, with engagement by states and human rights organisations.
  • It thus shows US's impatience to stay on course a multilateral process.
  • Rights - It signals that US is not making human rights a priority in its foreign policy.
  • By giving up its role at the HRC, it reduces its ability to influence the human rights agenda.
  • Global - Withdrawal would make it more difficult to advance human rights priorities around the world.
  • It could bolster countries such as Cuba, Russia, Egypt and Pakistan.
  • These countries resist UN's authority citing it as interference in their sovereign issues.
  • Many countries are now advocating withdrawal.


Source: The Hindu, The Wire

Login or Register to Post Comments
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to review.