JERUSALEM, Israel – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, along with US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, announced that the United States is withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council. The decision is one more indication the Trump administration sees that much of the world body is not living up to its original purpose.
Pompeo explained the US decision.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
"Today we need to be honest. The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights. 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," he said.
The secretary of state pointed out that such egregious human rights offenders as China, Cuba and Venezuela are sitting on the council.
United Nations Human Rights Council, Photo, Screen Capture
"The United States – which leads the world in humanitarian assistance and whose service members have sacrificed life and limb to free millions from oppression and tyranny – will not take lectures from hypocritical bodies and institutions as Americans selflessly give their blood and treasure to help the defenseless," Pompeo said.
"When a so-called Human Rights Council cannot bring itself to address the massive abuses in Venezuela and Iran, and it welcomes the Democratic Republic of Congo as a new member, the council ceases to be worthy of its name," Haley said. "And then of course there is the matter of the chronic bias against Israel."
United States UN Ambassador Nikki Haley
Both Pompeo and Haley said the UN body had become a vehicle to bash Israel.
Jerusalem, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
"The council's continued and well-documented bias against Israel is unconscionable. Since its creation the council has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel against the rest of the world combined."
Congratulations to President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Haley on their courageous decision to withdraw the USA from the UN Human Rights Council. America will continue to lead the world in advancing human rights without the baggage of this corrupt organization. https://t.co/ZjjvilrdJK
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) June 20, 2018
Hillel Neuer of the UN Watch told CBN News the council unfairly singles out Israel for criticism and condemnation that no other nation faces.
Hillel Neuer, UN Watch, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
"At every session of the Human Rights Council for example, there is a day on Israel. Just like there's a day on human rights situations around the world, then there's one day just for Israel," Neuer explained. "It's a special agenda item only to criticize so-called Israel violations. There's no agenda item for genocide that happened in Darfur in Sudan, nor on North Korea, one of the most horrific places in the world for human rights. Only on Israel, the Jewish state gets its own agenda item. The effect is to demonize Israel."
Israeli Knesset, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the US decision to withdraw its membership, saying the UN obsessively focuses on Israel, the one democracy in the Middle East, instead of dealing with regimes that systematically violate human rights.
Haley left the door open to return to the council if things change.
"We will continue to strongly advocate for reform of the Human Rights Council. Should it become reformed, we would be happy to rejoin it."