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U.S. Reported Ready To Quit UN Human Rights Council


People demonstrate against the speech of Iranian Justice Minister Seyyed Alireza Avayi at the Human Rights Council, in front of the United Nations in Geneva, in February.

The United States is poised to quit the United Nations Human Rights Council, primarily over Washington's claim that the council is biased against Israel, according to media reports.

The United States has complained that Israel is the only country in the world whose rights record comes up for discussion at every council session, and UN diplomats say Washington has given up trying to convince the council to end this practice.

Never in the 12 years of the Human Rights Council, which is tasked with spotlighting and approving investigations of suspected rights abuses, has a serving member dropped out voluntarily.

The 47-member council opens the second of its three annual sessions on June 18. The United States could announce its decision as early as June 19, a U.S. official told AP.

"As we have said numerous times, the UN Human Rights Council must be reformed to ensure it has the ability to realize its important mission," the U.S. State Department said on June 15.

Washington previously boycotted the council for three years under President George W. Bush before rejoining under Barack Obama in 2009.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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