(The Epoch Times, June 20, 2018) The United States of America announced Tuesday (19 June) that it would leave the UN Human Rights Council. The decision was made public in a joint press conference conducted by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, and US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.
Haley emphasised the withdrawal does not signify the United States’ relinquishing of its duties in human rights promotion.
In fact, the United States had been the only free government working rigorously on trying to get the council to work fairly and peacefully for human rights.
While almost half of the proposals were drafted against Israel, severe human rights abuses by China, Cuba, Russia and Zimbabwe, for example, were completely unpursued.
Formed in 2006, the council currently has 47 member countries. In 2013, human rights organisations have lambasted the council for including the human rights abuser likes of China, Russia, Algeria and Vietnam into its ranks.
Then US President, George W Bush refused to have US enter the council, but Obama enrolled the US into its membership in 2009 when he was President.
The ambassador said that America will now pursue human rights work outside the council.
Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly last year, Trump said that it is embarrassing that some of the world’s biggest human rights abusers sit on the Human Rights Council.
“The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights,” Pompeo said. “Worse than that, 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 named China, Cuba, and Venezuela as some of the worst human rights abusers who sit on the council. Haley said the council ignores abuses in Venezuela and Iran while admitting known human rights abusers like the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Both Haley and Pompeo pointed to the organization’s bias against Israel. Since its inception, the council passed more resolutions against Israel than the rest of the world combined, Pompeo said.
“For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias,” Haley said.