Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, denounced the global organization’s Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as a “hypocritical body unworthy of its name” as she confirmed on Tuesday that the United States would no longer serve as one of its members.
“This is not a retreat from human rights commitments,” Haley told journalists at the State Department in Washington, DC. The US could not, however, “remain in a hypocritical organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” she said.
Haley had warned that the US was prepared to leave the UNHRC one year ago, declaring on a visit to Israel in June 2017 that “the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we’re not going to let that happen anymore.” A few months later, in October 2017, the US cited anti-Israel bias as a primary reason for its withdrawal from the UN’s cultural and education agency, UNESCO – a decision that is scheduled to take effect in November.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Haley offered her analysis of why US efforts to end the disproportionate focus on Israel had failed alongside its plans for broader reform of the UNHRC. She highlighted the continuing presence on the UNHRC of authoritarian regimes with abysmal human rights records, along with the reluctance of other democracies to make their private misgivings about the council public.