U.S. pulls out of UN Human Rights Council citing anti-Israel “chronic bias”
On Tuesday, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, and Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced that the U.S. is withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from human rights commitments,” Haley said. “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.”
The United Nations Human Rights Council was created in 2006. The George W. Bush administration did not participate citing anti-Israel bias. The Obama administration reversed this decision and sought membership in 2009.
Haley insists U.S. withdrawal comes due to the “dubious rights records” of certain member countries. She also states that the council has a “chronic bias against Israel.”
NPR reports that a year ago Haley made an ultimatum to the U.N. Human Rights Council in her speech: stop singling out Israel and address the human rights records of other member countries, such as Saudi Arabia and China, or the U.S. would leave the council.
However, many criticised the U.S. withdrawal and pointed out that America is not without a dubious record of its own. Examples include the killing and mass incarceration of Black people with almost no government accountability, the fact that the U.S. has been the main proponent and player of the “War on Terror,” and, most recently, the separation and detainment of migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In response to the detainment of migrant children, the U.N. high commissioner on human rights, Zeid Raad al-Hussein said, “The thought that any State would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable.”
The commissioner also noted that the United States is the only United Nations member that has yet to ratify the Convention of the Rights of the Child.