US/World News

Nikki Haley: Unless UN rights council reforms, U.S. is out

By Ron Kampeas/ (JTA) – The United States is ready to pull out of the U.N. Human Rights Council unless it institutes reforms, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told an Israeli-American audience. “The Human Rights Council will either adopt these reforms or the United States will leave,” Haley said Saturday at the annual Washington conference of the Israeli American Council. Haley said U.S. proposed reforms include removing “Item 7,” which requires a report on Israeli actions in the West Bank each time the panel convenes. She said the United States also wanted structural changes that would keep major human rights abusers from joining the council; she noted the Democratic Republic of Congo’s recent ascension to the panel. Haley said the U.S. delegation was endeavoring to keep unpublished a list the U.N. Human Rights Council is compiling of companies doing business with West Bank settlements. Israel and the United States see the list as a blacklist of boycotters. She described one of the Obama administration’s last acts – allowing through a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning settlements – as a “betrayal” of Israel. She noted that the Trump administration also has differences with Israel over its settlement policy, but said it was counterproductive to have those arguments in public. “Friends can have disagreements and still be friends,” she said.

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