The US withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday, calling it an organization “that is not worthy of its name.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced the move at the State Department with Haley accusing the council of ‘chronic bias against Israel’.
Israeli’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the move on twitter , saying it showed ‘enough is enough’.
Israel thanks President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Haley for their courageous decision against the hypocrisy and the lies of the so-called UN Human Rights Council.
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) June 19, 2018
In a statement Netanyahu’s office said the council ‘has proven to be a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights.’
“Disappointing, if not really surprising, news. Given the state of #HumanRights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back” — UN Human Rights Chief #Zeid following USA decision to withdraw from U.N. Human Rights Council.#StandUp4HumanRights
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) June 19, 2018
The Mail Online reports: The announcement came just a day after the U.N. human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents.
Speaking beside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Haley said she that a year ago she made clear the U.S. would stay in the council only if ‘essential reforms were achieved.’
But those calls for change were not heeded, she said. Haley also decried the membership of countries like China, Cuba and Venezuela that are themselves accused of rights violations.
‘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 said.
Haley said that if the council – which was set up in 2006 – does reform, the United States ‘would be happy to rejoin.’
‘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.’
Pompeo said there was no doubt that the council once had a ‘noble vision.’
‘But today we need to be honest,’ he said. ‘The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights.’
‘Countries have colluded with each other to undermine the current method of selecting members,’ Pompeo said.
‘And the council’s continued and well-documented bias against Israel is unconscionable,’ he said.
‘Since its creation, the council has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than against the rest of the world combined.’
The move extends a broader Trump administration pattern of stepping back from international agreements and forums under the president’s ‘America First’ policy.
Since taking office, the administration has announced its withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, the U.N. educational and cultural organization and the Iran nuclear deal.