The U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced Tuesday the U.S. withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council, accusing the Council of political bias against U.S. ally Israel and failure to hold human rights abusers accountable.
“With members like China, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Venezuela the Human Rights Council is not worth its name,” Nikki Haley said.
The U.S. decision comes a day after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein deplored the separation of children from their parents at the US-Mexico border.
“In the United States, I am deeply concerned by recently adopted policies which punish children for their parents’ actions,” Zeid said Monday.
However, the U.S. has defended its decision to withdraw from the human rights body, saying that it is in the U.S. interest to protect its national sovereignty.
“When organizations undermine our national interests and our allies, we will not be complicit. When they seek to infringe on our national sovereignty, we will not be silent,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) June 19, 2018
He added that the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy — with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored and most serious offenders sit on the council.
“The United States which leads the world in humanitarian assistance, and whose service members have sacrificed life and limb to free millions from oppression and tyranny — will not take lectures form hypocritical bodies and institutions,” Pompeo warned.
However, Zeid deplored the U.S. decision. “Disappointing, if not really surprising, news. Given the state of human rights in today’s world, the U.S. should be stepping up, not stepping back,” Zeid said.