The United States has formally relinquished its position from the powerful United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) after describing the organization as a “cesspool of political bias”.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haly said that the decision was based on the Trump administration’s assessment that its call for reforms to be met went unheeded:
“Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded. Human Rights abusers continue to serve on, and be elected to the council. The world’s most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny and the council continues politicizing and scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks
“For too long the human rights council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.”
Trump has continuously railed on the U.N for targeting its resources on Israel while ignoring the human rights violations in other countries.
Antonio Gutierres, U.N. Secretary General and its top human rights official Zeid Ra’ad al- Hussein expressed regret over the United States’ decision to withdraw from the council. Over social media, al-Hussein tweeted the following message:
“Given the state of human rights in today’s world, the U.S. should be stepping up, not stepping back.”
Haley alluded to the election of the Democatic Republic of Congo to the council last year. She also brought up the failure of the UNHRC to hold a single session to discuss the atrocities in Venezuela which currently sits in the council:
“When a so-called human rights council cannot bring itself to address the massive abuses in Venezuela and Iran, and it welcomes the Democratic Republic of Congo as a new member, the council ceases to be worthy of its name.”
Critics of the Trump administration accused the United States of leaving its position in the UNHRC in order to protect itself from inquiries into its own human rights record and the government’s own political agenda.
The Democratic National Committee shared its opinion that Trump himself declared his adulation and praise of world leaders with dubious human rights records:
“Trump’s withdrawal is especially disturbing given his persistent praise of despots and dictators with abysmal human rights records, not to mention, his administration’s cruel mistreatment of immigrant families seeking asylum.”
Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch echoed the same sentiment:
“The Trump administration’s withdrawal is a sad reflection of its one-dimensional human rights policy; defending Israel abuses from criticism takes precedence above all else.”