US accuses UNHRC of anti-Israel bias

Geneva, March 1 (IANS) The US government on Wednesday said it wanted to reform the United Nations Human Rights Council and accused it of biased opinions against Israel.

Speaking at the council’s European headquarters in Geneva, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Erin Barclay said her government would be looking at the HRC with the idea to initiate reforms in order to give it more credibility in the face of biased opinions against Israel.

“… It (the council) must move away from its unbalanced and unproductive decisions,” she said, adding that “the US remains deeply troubled by the council’s consistent unfair and unbalanced focus on democratic country Israel”.

She said US President Donald Trump’s administration believed that improving the council’s credibility would improve its capacity to create a better world.

Barclay said the HRC should turn its attention to the most serious human rights situations.

“Right now, the Assad regime is bombing hospitals in Syria and forcing its own people to flee as refugees to neighbouring countries to escape its murderous rule,” she said, criticising that the council sought to instead focus on Israel.

Barclay said this was an obsession of the council’s that made a mockery of it, and though no states should be free from scrutiny, neither should they be treated with unfounded bias.