UN Human Rights Commissioner:
'U.S. withdrawal disappointing but not surprising'

Top United Nations human rights official says Washington should be stepping up, not stepping back, after it leaves UNHRC.

Ben Ariel,

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein

The top United Nations human rights official on Tuesday expressed disappointment over the U.S. decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

"Disappointing, if not really surprising, news,” tweeted Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“Given the state of human rights in today’s world, the U.S. should be stepping up, not stepping back,” he added.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley formally announced earlier on Tuesday that the United States is withdrawing from the UNHRC, which she branded “a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias.”

She pointed out that this year “the UNHRC passed five resolutions against Israel, more than against any other country.”

“If the Human Rights Council is going to attack countries that uphold human rights and attack those that abuse human rights, then the U.S. should not provide it with credibility,” Haley continued.

“We are withdrawing from the UNHRC, an organization that is not worthy of its name,” said Haley.

The Trump administration has previously threatened to withdraw from the Human Rights Council over its anti-Israel bias.

In March, Haley issued a statement after the UNHRC adopted five resolutions condemning Israel while adopting only one resolution each against North Korea, Iran, and Syria. This has become an annual ritual, as every March, the Council sets aside only two sessions to debate human rights violations and abuses in all countries and another entire session just to debate a single country, Israel.

“When the Human Rights Council treats Israel worse than North Korea, Iran, and Syria, it is the Council itself that is foolish and unworthy of its name,” said the American Ambassador.

Haley also condemned the council after it voted to establish a commission of inquiry to examine possible war crimes committed by Israel during the recent confrontations on the Gaza border last month.