U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaks Tuesday at the Department of State in Washington, D.C.
After more than a year of complaints and warnings — some subtle and others a little less so — the Trump administration has announced that the United States is withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced the decision in a joint statement Tuesday.
“I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from human rights commitments,” Haley told the media. “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 move comes as little surprise from an administration that frequently has lambasted the 47-member body for a gamut of perceived failures — particularly the dubious rights records of many of its member countries, as well as what Haley has repeatedly called the council’s “chronic bias against Israel.”
Haley harked back to a speech she delivered to the council one year ago this month, in which she laid down something of an ultimatum. At that point, she told membersthat they must stop singling out Israel for condemnation and must clean up their roster — which includes Venezuela, China and Saudi Arabia, among others — or the council could bid the U.S. farewell.