In light of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s failure to submit to U.S. demands, activists and diplomats told Reuters Friday that the United States is likely to withdraw all together as the Council looks to open its session on Monday.
A U.S. source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the withdrawal appeared to be “imminent” but had no details.
Diplomatic sources said it was not a question of if but of when the United States retreats from the Human Rights Council, which is holding a three-week session through July 6.
The impending move was foreshadowed last year when U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Council that American involvement might cease if the body did not eradicate “chronic anti-Israel bias”.
The 47-member forum last month voted to set up a probe into killings in Gaza and accused Israel of excessive use of force. The United States and Australia cast the only “no” votes. Israel’s ambassador in Geneva, Aviva Raz Shechter, castigated the Council for “spreading lies against Israel”.
Reuters noted that under former President George W. Bush, the U.S. abstained for three years, rejoining the Council in 2009 under the Obama administration.
Swiss Ambassador Valentin Zellweger said: “The decision by the Americans will have a profound impact on the Council. If they withdraw, we can expect significant consequences.”