WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday (June 19), condemning the “hypocrisy” of its members and its alleged “unrelenting bias” against Israel.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, came to Washington to announce the decision alongside President Donald Trump’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Both insisted the United States would remain a leading champion of human rights but, for many, the decision will reflect Trump’s general hostility to the world body and to multilateral diplomacy in general.
The announcement came after the top UN human rights official criticised Washington for separating migrant children from their parents who are seeking asylum after crossing into the country from Mexico.
But Haley and Pompeo stressed the decision had been made after a long year of efforts to shame the council into reform and to remove member states that themselves commit abuses.
“These reforms were needed in order to make the council a serious advocate for human rights,” Haley said.
“For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias. Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded.”