The US has withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council after accusing the organisation of “hypocrisy”, criticising its bias against Israel, according to UN officials.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador for the UN said, “For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias.”
UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric is yet to comment on the situation, saying, “we will wait to hear the details of that decision before commenting fully.” The decision came after what Haley described as a whole year of seeing no progress.
“I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from our 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 organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” Ms Haley said.
“We did not make this decision lightly. When this administration began 17 months ago, we were well aware of the enormous flaws in the Human Rights Council. We could have withdrawn immediately. We did not do that. Instead, we made a good faith effort to resolve the problems.”
BREAKING: US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has announced the United States is withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, accusing the body of bias against US ally Israel and a failure to hold human rights abusers accountable https://t.co/DU6AUmwYwM pic.twitter.com/VEHSOwDdp0
— CNN (@CNN) June 19, 2018
The move has since been heavily criticised by the Human Rights Watch, saying the responsibility of addressing the world’s most pressing issues will now fall on other governments.
“The Trump administration’s withdrawal is a sad reflection of its one-dimensional human rights policy: defending Israeli abuses from criticism takes precedence above all else,” said HRW’s executive director Kenneth Roth. Trump has also faced recent criticism from the UN after his policy to separate migrant children from their families at the US-Mexico border.