The Trump administration said Monday that it is boycotting a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, amid growing concerns by the administration over the U.N.’s anti-Israel stance.
The boycott, first reported by The Washington Free Beacon, comes as the council was expected to adopt a number of anti-Israel resolutions Monday.
The council has long been criticized as one of the U.N.’s most anti-Israel bodies.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that one particular agenda item — “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories” – was “yet another reminder of that body’s long-standing bias against Israel.”
“As an expression of our deeply-held conviction that this bias must be addressed in order for the Council to realize its legitimate purpose, the United States decided not to attend the Council’s Item Seven General Debate session,” Toner said, adding that the U.S. will vote against every resolution under the agenda item, and encourage other countries to do the same.
The council was set up in 2006 as a successor to the Human Rights Commission — which was also criticized for its anti-Israel stance. The Bush administration refused to join the new body, but the Obama administration applied for membership, arguing it could better influence the council from the inside.