The United States has officially ended its membership on the United Nations Human Rights Council. Ambassador Nikki Haley did not mince words while making the announcement with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo late Tuesday afternoon.
"For too long the human rights council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias," Haley said, adding that calls from the U.S. for the council to reform have not been heeded. "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."
"Therefore, as we said we would do a year ago if we did not see any progress, the United States is officially withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council," she continued. "In doing so, I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from human rights commitments; 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.
Tyrannical regimes like North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and others sit on the council.
"The Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy – with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored, and some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself," Pompeo said. "The only thing worse than a council that does almost nothing to protect human rights is a council that covers for human rights abuses and is therefore an obstacle to progress and an impediment to change. The Human Rights Council enables abuses by absolving wrongdoers through silence and falsely condemning those who have committed no offense. A mere look around the world today demonstrates that the council has failed in its stated objectives."
Vice President Mike Pence also publicly backed the move.
Today the U.S. took a stand against some of the world’s worst human rights violators by withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/KyICyXh3XI— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) June 19, 2018