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Report: US planning 'imminent' withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council. Here's why.
A U.S. withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council is reportedly "imminent." (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Report: US planning 'imminent' withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council. Here's why.

In what would be a monumental decision, the United States is reportedly seeking to formally withdraw from the United Nations' Human Rights Council.

What are the details?

According to Reuters, which broke the news, the withdrawal is "imminent." Diplomats told Reuters the U.S. withdrawal is "not a question of if but of when."

The news comes just days before the 47-nation body will meet together for a three-week session in Geneva.

Why would the U.S. withdraw?

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., threatened a pull out last year over what she described as "chronic anti-Israel bias," something the U.S. argues has been present in the council since its establishment in 2006.

"It is essential that this council address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it is to have any credibility," she said at the time, adding the U.S. was becoming increasingly concerned the council was a waste of American time and money.

"If the Human Rights Council is going to be an organization we entrust to protect and promote human rights, it must change. If it fails to change, then we must pursue the advancement of human rights outside of the council," Haley explained.

As Reuters noted, the council "has a permanent standing agenda item on suspected violations committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories, which Washington wants removed."

The council even voted last month to begin an investigation into deaths related to Gaza protests, accusing Israel of using excessive force to quell the Hamas-led violence.

What did U.S. officials say?

One U.S. official told Reuters: "We are still moving ahead with our engagement for the coming session."

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