November 17, 2018

U.S. Leaves U.N. Human Rights Council

The United States has officially left the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

In a press conference in Washington D.C., U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley explained that they had warned the UNHRC that unless reforms were implemented, they would leave the council. The reforms never went into place, therefore the U.S. will leave.

“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” Haley said.

Haley pointed out that in the past year, the UNHRC elected the Democratic Republic of the Congo to a seat in the council despite the country’s record of human rights abuses. The UNHRC also refused to examine human rights abuses conducted by the Venezuelan government as well as by the Iranian regime in cracking down on the anti-government protests, yet has passed five resolutions condemning Israel.

“This council is motivated by political bias, not human rights,” Haley said.

Haley concluded the announcement by stating that if the council is reformed, the U.S. would be open to re-joining it.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper praised the move in a statement.

“The UNHRC has perverted its stated mandate by serially abusing Israel, while horrific human rights abuses around the world receive scant attention, if at all,” Hier and Cooper said. “It consistently makes a mockery of its own mandate by serving as a rubber-stamping anti-Israel kangaroo court while providing diplomatic safe haven for state sponsors of terrorism and human rights abuse. Like its disgraced and defunct predecessor, the UN Human Rights Commission, the UN Human Rights Council in 2018 represents all that is wrong with global human rights.”

The U.S. withdrawing on the council comes on the heels of UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson criticizing Agenda Item 7 on June 18, which enables the UNHRC to criticize Israel every week for alleged human rights violations against the Palestinians.

“We share the view that the dedicated Agenda Item 7 focused solely on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace, and unless things change we shall vote next year against all resolutions introduced under Item 7,” Johnson said.