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Concerns raised after US pulls out of UNHCR

The US has withdrawn from the body, calling it hypocritical and self-serving.

FILE: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Picture: AFP

NEW YORK - Activists have raised concerns that a US decision to pull out of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) could hurt efforts to monitor and address rights abuses around the world.

The US has withdrawn from the body, calling it hypocritical and self-serving.

The move comes after the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights slammed the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

The US threatened to pull out of the UNHCR for months. On Tuesday, US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley officially did it, calling it a “cesspool of political bias”.

Activists say the US move could hurt efforts to address human rights abuses around the world while UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said he would have much preferred the US to have remained in the council.

South Africa’s ambassador to the council Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko has also responded in a statement, saying the move is tragic for the US and that mature leadership works with the collective will of all nations.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)