It hasn’t been a great week for the United States and the United Nations. United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced that the United States would be pulling out of the UN Human Rights Council.
The Trump administration had been threatening to do so for months, but the announcement still came as a surprise. The real reason for pulling still isn’t apparent, but UN officials say the might know the reason.
For years many conservatives have wanted the US to leave the Council. They felt that the Council was full of countries that were human rights violators, but were given passes because they were members.
Haley echoed many of those sentiments during the announcement and also said the Council’s treatment of Israel was a major reason for the US leaving. The Trump administration said that there was a possibility for the US to return, but only if significant changes were made.
The United States and poverty
Last fall Philip Alston came to Washington from the Human Rights Council to write a report about poverty in America. Alston said that he was warned by a senior State Department official that his report might influence the membership of the US in the human rights body.
A Haley spokesman said that Alston’s report “had nothing to do with our decision to leave.” Alston’s report found that compared to the rest of the developed world the US has some of the most chronic rates of poverty.
“It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America,” Haley wrote.
Alston’s report also found that Trump’s policies are likely to cause poverty rates in the United States to get even worse. Trump signed a new tax bill that many experts feel won’t help the middle class, but will actually hurt it. Liberals said the report proves that Trump is ignoring the nation’s poorest citizens.
Two other officials backed up Alston’s fall account.