24 March 2018

US boycotts UN human rights session on Israel

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The US has boycotted a United Nations Human Rights Council session focusing on Israel’s human rights violations against the Palestinians due to the inter-governmental body’s "bias" against Israel. reports that US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Washington will boycott the UNHRC session over the council’s focus on Israel’s human rights record during the council’s Item Seven General Debates.

"As an expression of our deeply held conviction that this bias must be addressed in order for the council to realize its legitimate purpose, the United States decided not to attend the council's Item Seven General Debate session," Toner said in a statement.

"The United States strongly and unequivocally opposes the existence of the UN Human Rights Council's Agenda Item Seven: 'Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories,” he added.

Agenda Item Seven is a permanent fixture that requires the UNHRC to discuss three times each year any human rights violations committed by Israel against Palestinians.

"Today's actions in the council are yet another reminder of that body's longstanding bias against Israel," he said. "No other nation has an entire agenda item dedicated to it at the council. The continued existence of this agenda item is among the largest threats to the credibility of the council. It does not serve the interests of the council to single out one country in an unbalanced matter."

2017.03.20 / 23:19
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