The US has threatened to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council unless it undertakes “considerable reform”, a letter obtained by Foreign Policy has revealed.
In the letter, which is addressed to UN advocates and human rights group, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that the US is sceptical about its membership given the fact that other countries with a poor record of human rights are also members, including China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Nine groups advocating the US’ continued membership have said that if the US does withdraw it will diminish the country’s ability to shield Israel from unfair attacks.
- value of US funding to the UN
In 2006 then US President George W. Bush refused to join the council over concerns at how it treated Israel but Obama overturned this decision in 2009.
The US will participate in the ongoing session of the Human Rights Council, wrote Tillerson, “to reiterate our strong principled objection to the Human Rights Council’s biased agenda against Israel.”