November 17, 2018

Haley Slams Human Rights Watch in Letter for Opposing UNHRC Reforms

When United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced their withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on June 19, she cited the fact that the U.S.’s suggested reforms for the UNHRC were never implemented. Haley revealed more details in a letter to Human Rights Watch (HRW), where she blamed them in part for the reforms failing.

The letter, dated June 20, features Haley explaining to HRW that she advocated for reforms that cleansed the UNHRC of anti-Israel bias and better ensured that the membership on the UNHRC were committed to human rights. However, their efforts were rebuffed by Russia and China; HRW had also issued a letter encouraging members of the council to vote against Haley’s proposed reforms.

“You put yourself on the side of Russia and China, and opposite the United States, on a key human rights issue,” Haley said. “You should know that your efforts to block negotiations and thwart reform were a contributing in the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Council. Going forward we encourage you to play a constructive role on behalf of human rights, rather than the destructive one you played in this instance.”

The letter concluded with Haley stating that the U.S. will fight for human rights by working with NGOs that are actually committed to human rights.

Louis Charbonneau, HRW’s U.N. director, argued to the New York Times that Haley’s reforms “would have opened a Pandora’s box of worse problems.”

It should be noted that HRW has previously advocated for Israel to be put on the U.N.’s list of child’s rights violators.