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Bolton: US to cut its funding of UN Human Rights Council

Its constant double standard and demonization of Israel has frustrated America, which contributes 22 percent of the council’s budget.

Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room at the Palace of Nations in Geneva, the meeting room of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Credit: Ludovic Courtès via Wikimedia Commons.
Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room at the Palace of Nations in Geneva, the meeting room of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Credit: Ludovic Courtès via Wikimedia Commons.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Thursday that the United States plans to cut its funding of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which the U.S. withdrew from in June due to the body’s anti-Israel bias.

“We are going to de-fund the Human Rights Council,” Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the Associated Press.

As the UNHRC’s largest donor, the U.S. contributes 22 percent of the council’s budget. However, it does not contribute directly; instead, the funds are taken from the overall U.S. payment to the United Nations.

“We’ll calculate 22 percent of the Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner’s budget, and our remittances to the U.N. for this budget year will be less 22 percent of those costs, and we’ll say specifically that’s what we’re doing,” said Bolton. “We expect that impact to occur on the Human Rights Council.”

The UNHRC was founded in 2006 to advocate for human rights globally. However, its constant double standard and demonization of Israel has frustrated American leadership, among other moves like allowing countries, such as Venezuela, which violate human rights, to be members of the U.N. body. Last May, it passed five resolutions against Israel, which is not a member of the council.

“The U.N.’s human-rights bodies have undermined their founding values by becoming hotbeds of anti-Israel extremism, hate and boycott campaigns,” said Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, also the country’s strategic affairs minister, in a statement.

“If Ambassador Bolton’s announcement spurs the U.N. to start investing in exposing the world’s worst violators of human rights, rather than in delegitimizing the Middle East’s one true democracy, millions around the world will benefit,” he said.

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