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tv   U.S. Withdrawal from U.N. Human Rights Council  CSPAN  June 19, 2018 9:45pm-10:01pm EDT

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the summertime. >> be sure to join us july 21 and 20 i can when we will feature our visit to alaska. what alaska weekend on c-span, c-span.org, or listen on the c-span radio app. earlier today, secretary of state mike pompeo and u.s. ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley announced that the u.s. is withdrawing from the united nations human rights council. abassador called the u.n. hrc protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of clinical violence -- political bias. bias againstd israel. next, we will show you the press conference where they made that announcement.
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>> good afternoon. the trump administration is committed to protecting and promoting the god-given dignity and read him of every human being. every individual has writes that during inherit and and viable. they are given by god and not government. because of that, no government must take them away. for decades, the united date has led global efforts to promote human rights. often through bilateral institutions. while we have seen improvements in certain tuitions, for far too long we have waited all that progress comes to slowly or in some cases, never comes. too many commitments have gone unfulfilled. president trump wants to move the ball forward. from day one he has called out institutions or countries that say one thing or do another. that is the problem at the human rights council. as president trump said at the
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general assembly, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the u.n. that some governments with egregious human rights efforts sit on the human rights council. we have o'dowd that there was once a noble vision for the council. -- we have no doubt that there was once a noble vision for the council. there are now a poor defender of human rights. worse than that, the council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy, with many of the world's worst human rights abuses going ignored and some of the series offenders sitting on the council it self. and aly thing worse council that does almost nothing to protect human rights is a council that covers for human rights abuses and is an obstacle to progress. the human rights council enables abuses by absolving wrongdoers through science -- through silence. a look around the world today demo rates the council has
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failed and its dated objective. the membership includes authoritarian governments such as china, cuba, and venezuela. competitive process. against israel it is uncomfortable. and againsteation, the rest of the world combined. the united aids has no opposition in principle to multilateral bodies working to protect human rights. it reflects america's commitment to read appeared but when organizations undermine our national interest and her allies , we will not be complicit. we will -- we will not be silent here in the united states, which leads the world in humanitarian assistance and who service
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members have sacrificed life and limb to free millions from tyranny will not take lectures from hypocritical wadis -- hypocritical hotties -- hypocritical bodies. ambassador haley spent more than a year trying to reform. she is the right leader to drive our efforts at the u.n. her efforts have been tireless. she has asserted american leadership on everything from the assad regime chemical weapons used to the pressure campaign against north korea and the iran propagation in the middle east. ambassador haley has been fearless and a consistent voice on behalf of our ally is really and she has a sincere passion to protect the security, dignity, and the read him of human beings around the world all well putting american interests. she has been a fierce defender of human rights around the world. i will now turn it over to ambassador haley were her
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announcement on how the united states will move forward with respect to the human rights council. amb. haley: i want to thank secretary pompeo for his friendship and partnership and leadership as we move or word. one year ago, i traveled to the united nations human rights council in geneva. on that occasion come i outlined the u.s. priorities for advancing human rights and i declared our intent to remain a part of the human rights council if essential reforms were achieved. these reforms were needed in order to make the council a serious advocate for human rights. for two wrong, -- for too long they have been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of bias. regrettably, it is clear that our call for reform was not heeded. human rights abusers continue to
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serve on and be elected to the council. the world's most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny. the council continues politicizing and take goading countries with positive human rights records and an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks. a year ago if we did not see progress, the united states is officially withdrawing from the u.n. human rights council. in doing so, i want to make it crystal layer that this step is not a retreat from human rights commitment. on the contrary, we take step the cousin our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights. decisiont take this lightly. when this administration began seven months ago -- 17 months ago, we were well aware of the
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enormous flaws in the human rights council. we could have withdrawn immediately. we did not do that. instead, we made a good faith effort to resolve the problem. the masters of over a dozen countries in geneva. last temper he called for member states to support human rights council reform. last year we led a session on with rights council reform the british and dutch foreign minister's and more than 30 countries. our efforts continued through this year in new york where my team met with more than 125 member states and circulated draft text. almost every country we met with agrees with us. in principle and behind closed doors, that the human rights council's needs major dramatic systemic changes. yet, no other country has had
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the courage to join our fight. meanwhile, the situation on the council has gotten worse, not that her. one -- not better. wanted to gain -- we wanted the world's abusers not to gain membership here democratic republic of the congo was elected as a member. the drc is widely known to have one of he worst human rights records in the world. even as it was being elected to inbership's -- to membership the council, mass graves continued to be discovered in the congo. another goal was to stop the council from protecting the world's worst human rights abusers. what happened? the council would not even have a meeting on the human rights conditions in venezuela? why? is a member of the council. as is cuba, and china.
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similarly, the council failed to respond in december and january when the iranian regime killed and arrested hundreds of citizens simply for expressing their views. when a so-called human rights council cannot bring itself to address the massive abuses in venezuela and iran, and it welcomes the democratic republic of congo as a new member, the council ceases to be worthy of its name. such a council in fact damages the cause of human rights. then of course, there is the matter of the chronic bias against israel. last year, the united states made it clear that the wood not accept the continued existence of agenda item seven, which singles out israel in a way that no other country is singled out. , as it has inear previous years, the human rights council passed five resolutions
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against israel. more than the number passed against north korea, iran, and syria combined. focus andoportionate unending hostility toward israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights. for all these reasons, the united dates spent the past year engaging in a sincere effort to reform the council. it is worse -- it is worth examining wire efforts did not exceed. at its core, there are two reasons. urst, many on the -- many nfree countries. a credible council poses a threat. so they opposed steps that would create it. look at the council membership and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic human rights. these countries strongly resist
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any effort to expose their abusive practices. in fact, that is like many of them run for a seat on the council in the first place third to protect themselves from scrutiny. when we made it clear we would strongly pursue council on, these countries can out of the woodwork to oppose it. egypt, china, cuba, and all attempted to undermine our reform efforts this past year. the second reason our reforms did not succeed is in some ways even more frustrating. there are several countries on the human rights council who do share our values. many of them strongly urged us to remain engaged in the council. they are embarrassed by the excessive mistreatment of israel. they share our alarm with the hypocrisy of countries like cuba, venezuela, the democratic republic of congo, and others serving on the council.
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ultimately, many of these like-minded countries were unwilling to seriously challenge the status quo. aftere them opportunity opportunity and many of consultation and yet they would it wase a stand unless behind closed doors. some even admitted late work fine with the blatant flaws of the council as long as they could pursue their own narrow agenda within the current structure. we did not agree with such a moral compromise when the previous u.n. human rights commission was disbanded in 2006 and we don't agree with it now. arguef these countries that the united states should stay on the human rights council because american participation is the last shred of credibility that the council had. but that is precisely why we must leave. if the human rights council is going to attack countries that
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uphold human rights and shield countries that abuse human rights, then america should not provide it with any credibility. instead, we will continue to lead on human rights outside the rights council. last year, during the united states presidency at the security council we initiated the first ever security council session dedicated to the connection between human rights and peace and security. despite protests, we did organize an event on venezuela outside the human rights council chambers in geneva. this past january we did have a security council session on a rainy and human rights in new york. u.n. refugeeed to and displaced persons camps in the ethiopia, the congo, turkey, and jordan.
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we have used america's voice and vote to defend human rights at the u.n. every day. we will continue to do so even as we end our membership in the human rights council. we will keep trying to string entire work of the u.n. engagement on human rights issues and we will continue to strongly advocate for reform of the human rights council. should it come reformed, we would be happy to rejoin it. as aca has a proud legacy champion of human rights. a proud legacy at the world's largest provider of humanitarian aid and a proud legacy of liberating oppressed people and defeating tyranny throughout the world. while we do not seek to impose the american system on anyone we do support the rights of all people to have freedoms distilled on them by their creator. that is why we are with trying from the u.n. human rights
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an organization that is not worthy of its name. thank you. >> [indiscernible] ♪ >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and alice issues -- policy issues that impact you. we will talk about the trump administration's zero tolerance policy and family separation on the u.s. mexico border sarah pierce of the migration policy institute. be sure to watch washington journal live at seven eastern on wednesday morning. join the discussion. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >>

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