New York: The United States announced it was withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, dismissing it as a “cesspool of political bias” for its anti-Israel stance.
It marks the latest rejection of multilateral engagement by the Trump administration – following its exit from the Paris climate accords and the Iran nuclear deal – and comes a day after the UN’s most senior human rights official condemned the US for separating children from parents at the border with Mexico.
The decision to pull the US out of the UN Human Rights Council was announced by US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley who also criticised the council for a “disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel”.
She claimed that human rights abuses continue to serve on and be elected to the council.
The world’s most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny, and the council continues politicising and scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks, she said.
In doing so, Haley made it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from human rights commitments.
“On the contrary, we take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights,” she said.
Haley also criticised the council for a “disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel,” citing a series of resolutions highlighting alleged abuses by the Israeli government of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleged that the council enables abuses by absolving wrongdoers through silence and falsely condemning those who have committed no offence.