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The U.S. leaves a vacuum on UN human rights body

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News video: The U.S. leaves a vacuum on UN human rights bodyBarack ObamaBarack Obama

Britain, Australia, and the European Union are lamenting the Trump administration's withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council, leaving a vacuum where rivals like Russia, China or Cuba may thrive. Matthew Larotonda reports..

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The U.S. leaves a vacuum on UN human rights body

The empty seat left by the U.S. after it withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council.

It also left a power vacuum that America's allies in the chamber are all condemning. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BULGARIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N.

IN GENEVA, DEYANA KOSTADINOVA, SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, SAYING: "Yesterday's decision risks undermining the role of the U.S. as a strong advocate and support of democracy on the world stage." Britain, the European Union, and Australia all stayed on what Ambassador Nikki Haley called: (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S.

AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, NIKKI HALEY, SAYING: "... a cesspool of political bias." They all say they see the need for reform.

There's fears the withdrawal will amplify the voices of rivals like Russia and China, or other members with human rights questions to answer at home: like Venezuela, Cuba, and Egypt.

When the council was formed in 2006 the Bush administration actually refused to join over the same perception of bias.

When Barack Obama did eventually sign up, three years later, it was under the auspices of reform and diplomatic engagement.

And, they did push the council into votes condemning places like Syria at the time.

President Trump's White House says it was all too little, too late.

The UN has multiple bodies that deal with human rights issues.



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