US Leaves UN Human Rights Council

China Says It Regrets US Quitting UN Human Rights Council

US Leaves UN Human Rights Council

China's foreign ministry expressed regret, with state media saying the image of the United States as a defender of rights was "on the verge of collapse".

"Our US counterparts have shown boorish cynicism - they are reluctant to admit that they have human rights issues themselves but at the same time, they continue attempts to reshape the council to make it serve their needs, stressing that there was no place for persistent violators of human rights in the council", Zakharova pointed out.

The U.S has long-standing criticisms of the council.

Standing with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting US efforts to reform the council.

Russian Federation on Wednesday voiced surprise at the United States' decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council, accusing Washington of "gross cynicism" and "disregard" for the world body.

She recounted a list of "good faith" efforts the United States took to reform the council. "The UN Human Rights Council has always been a problem".

Human Rights Watch U.N. director Louis Charbonneau said the USA draft General Assembly resolution "could have backfired badly and the process could have been hijacked" by the countries seeking to undermine the Human Rights Council. She had been threatening the pull-out since a year ago unless the council made changes advocated by the U.S.

Washington's retreat - officially notified to the world body on Wednesday - is the latest USA rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

"This decision is counterproductive to American national security and foreign policy interests and will make it more hard to advance human rights priorities and aid victims of abuse around the world", the organizations said in a joint statement.

Dujarric said the council, which reviews the human rights records of United Nations, and special investigators who work on rights issues "play a critical role in protecting and promoting human rights across the world".

Among reforms the U.S. had pushed for was to make it easier to kick out member states with egregious rights records.

The Geneva-based body was established in 2006 to promote and protect human rights worldwide, but its pronouncements and reports have often infuriated the U.S. - in particular, the council's relentless focus on Israeli policies toward the Palestinians.

The Russian mission described the council as a "key global platform for cooperation in protecting human rights". "Should it become reformed, we would be happy to rejoin it", Haley said. "Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers and farmers who have done nothing wrong". The official wasn't authorized to comment publicly and insisted on anonymity.

The Americans complain about the constant carping on Israel, which of course should be criticised, but every time the council convenes?

"Look at the council membership and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic human rights". It calls the 47-member body "hypocritical" and "self-serving".

"These reforms were needed in order to make the council a serious advocate for human rights", Haley said.

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