The United States (US) is withdrawing from the United Nations human rights council (UNHRC), the Trump administration announced on Tuesday, calling it a “cesspool of political bias” that targets Israel in particular while ignoring atrocities in other countries.
The decision to pull out of the UN Human Rights Council was announced on Tuesday by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN.
“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights,” she said alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, DC.
“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
Some moments later, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, called the announcement by US President Donald Trump’s administration “disappointing, if not really surprising”.
“Given the state of human rights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back,” he added.
The European Union said the move “risks undermining the role of the US as a champion and supporter of democracy on the world stage”, while British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called it “regrettable”.
On the other hand, Israel, a major ally of the US, praised Washington’s “courageous” move.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called the decision “regrettable” but said the UK was “here to stay”.