US still working with UN despite council exit

AP , Wednesday 20 Jun 2018

UN Security Council
File Photo: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley vetoes an Arab-backed resolution for protection of Palestinian civilians during a Security Council meeting at U.N. headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., June 1, 2018 (Reuters).

The United States is emphasizing that its pullout from the United Nations' main human rights body doesn't mean it's stopping its work with the U.N.'s rights chief.

A U.S. official in Geneva says the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights — currently Jordanian prince Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein — "performs valuable work in promoting human rights."

"We have a very strong relationship with the OHCHR and will continue to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms through that relationship," the press office of the U.S. mission in Geneva said in an e-mail.

The human rights office, or OHCHR, is a permanent U.N. organization that ultimately falls under Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The United States is traditionally one of its largest donors.

The Human Rights Council is a 47-country body that draws its mandate from the U.N. General Assembly, and meets three times a year in Geneva. The U.S. announced its withdrawal from the council on Wednesday, citing among other things its alleged anti-Israel bias.

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