Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced on Tuesday that U.S. would leave the UN Human Rights Council.
Citing the organization as being broken and filled with hypocrisy, Pompeo and Haley mentioned how they tried to work with other council members in order to reform the body, however, they were met with resistance.
"The Trump administration is committed to protecting and promoting the God-given dignity and freedom of every human being. Every individual has rights that are inherent and enviable," Pompeo said. "They are given by God and not by government. Because of that, no government must take them away."
"For decades, the United States has led global efforts to promote human rights, often through multilateral institutions. While we have seen improvements in certain human rights situations, for far too long we have waited while that progress comes too slowly or in some cases, never comes," Pompeo said. "Too many commitments have gone unfulfilled. President Trump wants to move the ball forward. From Day One he has called out institutions or countries who say one thing and do another, and that's precisely the problem at the Human Rights Council. As President Trump said at the UN General Assembly, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the Human Rights Council."
Pompeo mentioned the organization's bias against Israel as being an example of the council's misplaced priorities.
"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," 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."
Pompeo cited China, Cuba and Venezuela's participation on the Council as an example as well as the Council adopting more resolutions condemning Israel than against the rest of the world combined. Additionally, Pompeo cited the United States as being the largest provider of humanitarian assistance in the world.
Haley mentioned how when she first went to a Human Rights Council meeting, she mentioned that United States demanded reforms to the body or that the United States would leave.
"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," Haley said.
Haley pointed out how the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country with one of the world's worst human rights records, has been allowed to join the Human Rights Council.
"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 the Congo as a new member, the Council ceases to be worthy of its name," Haley said. "Such a council, in fact, damages the cause of human rights and then, of course, there's the matter of the chronic bias against Israel."
A couple of reporters shouted questions at Pompeo and Haley as the two walked away.