In a big blow to UN Human Rights Council, the US has decided to leave the body accusing it of shielding rights abusers, hypocrisy and an acute bias against Israel, its UN envoy Nikki Haley (pictured left with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu) said.
The move comes after most member states refused to back US efforts to reform the council and criticised US immigration policies especially the one on separating children from parents at the country’s southern border with Mexico.
Haley called the council a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias not worthy of its name as it fails to act against the world’s most inhumane regimes.
It is a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights, she said alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Tuesday’ decision may undermine US global role as a champion and supporter of democracy, a spokeswoman of EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini said.
The head of the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said the US withdrawal was a disappointing news.
Calling Washington’s move a serious mistake, Senator and Democrat Chris Coons said it would send a message that Trump does not intend to lead the world when it comes to human rights.
But Haley said the US could still lead the fight against human rights violations outside the “misnamed human rights council” and return to the council if it is ready to reform.
She said Israel is on the agenda of every council session over the Palestinian issue. This must stop.
Pompeo said since its creation, the council had adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than against the rest of the world combined.
Welcoming the US pull-out decision, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the council is a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organisation that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights.