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June 16, 2017 9:36 am

US Mulls Funding Cut of UN Human Rights Council

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The meeting room at the UN Human Rights Council headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Ludovic Courtès via Wikimedia Commons. – The United States has indicated that it may replace the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with “other means” for addressing human rights issues, unless the UN body significantly reforms its conduct and blatant anti-Israel bias.

“We are either going to reform this thing and make it reflect what it should be reflecting or we will withdraw our support for it,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

If the US withdraws from the UNHRC, Tillerson said Washington would “approach human rights issues on a multi-lateral basis with partners who see it the same way we do.”

“I wish you would reconsider the $10 million you have in there for the UNHRC,” said Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) at the hearing, about US funding of international organizations including the UNHRC.

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“We are looking at those one by one by one and really asking ourselves what is the cost benefit here. In some areas we are either going to reform those or we are going to withdraw from them,” Tillerson replied.

Tillerson’s latest comments on withdrawing US funding from the UNHRC follow similar statements issued earlier this year. In March, he warned that the State Department would “continue to evaluate the effectiveness” of the UN body, and that the US might withdraw funding without “considerable reform.”

Tillerson also noted the Trump administration’s “strong principled objection to the Human Rights Council’s biased agenda against Israel.”

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