Australia is disappointed by the decision of the United States to resign from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Australia shares many of the concerns held by the US about the UNHRC, particularly its anti-Israel bias, and we have consistently supported efforts to address other matters of contention.

We are committed to progress effective and meaningful reform to enable the Council to more effectively carry out its role.

Australia will continue to work constructively on human rights issues with other countries, including the US. It was our strong preference for the US to remain a member of the UNHRC and I had made this known to senior members of the Trump Administration.

Australia's Foreign Policy White Paper reiterated Australia's commitment to a strong multilateral human rights system and to advancing human rights globally. It is in our national interest to shape the work of the Council and uphold the international rules-based order.

Australia has pledged to be a principled, pragmatic and consultative member, bringing a unique Indo-Pacific perspective to our term and amplify the voices of our Pacific neighbours.

Australia's second session as a member of the UNHRC commenced in Geneva this week.

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