United States withdraws from UNHRC, calls it ‘protector of rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias’

The United States has decided to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council  as the country thinks that the council has become a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.

US also believes that there is an entrenched bias against Israel in the council.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who has sought major changes on the council throughout her tenure, issued a blistering critique of the panel, saying it had grown more callous over the past year and become a “protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias.” She cited the admission of Congo as a member even as mass graves were being discovered there, and the failure to address human rights abuses in Venezuela and Iran.

“I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from our human rights commitments,” she said during a joint appearance with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the department. “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.”

Haley accused governments with woeful human rights records of seeking a seat on the council to avoid scrutiny and then resisting proposals for reform.

“When we made it clear we would strongly pursue Council reform, these countries came out of the woodwork to oppose it,” she said. “Russia, China, Cuba, and Egypt all attempted to undermine our reform efforts this past year.”

The decision to leave the 47-nation body was more definitive than the lesser option of staying on as a nonvoting observer. It represents another retreat by the Trump administration from international groups and agreements whose policies it deems out of sync with American interests on trade, defense, climate change and, now, human rights. And it leaves the council without the United States playing a key role in promoting human rights around the world.


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