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22 Jun, 2018 10:25

Nikki Haley slams UN report on US poverty under Trump as 'misleading & politically motivated'

Nikki Haley slams UN report on US poverty under Trump as 'misleading & politically motivated'

Washington's envoy to the UN Nikki Haley has blasted a report on poverty in the US, as “misleading and politically motivated”. The document accuses the Trump administration of deepening poverty and inequality.

“It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America,” Haley said in letters addressed to Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vermont) and Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts). The ambassador admitted poverty in America “remains a serious concern” however, “it does no one any good to inaccurately describe its prevalence or its causes.” 

Both Sanders and Warren were among over a dozen Democrats in the Congress who addressed Haley on the issues of inequality and poverty.

“I am deeply disappointed that the Special Rapporteur used his platform to make misleading and politically motivated statements about American domestic policy issues,” Haley said. “Regrettably, his report is an all too common example of the misplaced priorities [of the UN].”

The report was written by the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Philip Alston, who is due to present it to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 22.

“The policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship,” Alston said.

He stressed that he looks forward to responding to her comments in the Human Rights Council on Friday. “Too bad the US won't be there,” he noted

On Tuesday, the US made a surprising decision to quit the UN Human Rights Council. The withdrawal was met with international condemnation, with even close NATO allies from Europe describing the decision as regrettable.

Russia denounced the decision, accusing Washington of hypocrisy. “Apparently, the US wanted to turn the council into a complacent mechanism that would promote its interests and punish those who disagree,” the Russian mission at the UN said, adding that US attempts to justify its walkout by the council’s politicization are cynical. 

READ MORE: US slamming door on UNHRC shows weakness, not strength – Russian senator

The unprecedented move was also slammed by a number of human rights groups, with Amnesty International saying that Trump shows "complete disregard for the fundamental rights and freedoms the US claims to uphold." Human Rights Watch echoed those remarks, saying that 'America First' meant that Trump had decided to ignore the "suffering of civilians" around the world.

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