Russian Foreign Ministry comments on US exit from US Human Rights Council

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters. Haley says the U.S. is withdrawing from UN Human Rights Council calling it'not worthy of its name

"You should know that your efforts to block negotiations and thwart reform were a contributing factor in the USA decision to withdraw from the council", said Haley in the letter seen by AFP. She lambasted the council for "its chronic bias against Israel" and lamented the fact that its membership includes accused human rights abusers such as China, Cuba, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo. "On the contrary. We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights".

On Tuesday, US Ambassador to the United Nations in New York Nikki Haley privately told Guterres that the US planed to withdraw from the council.

"But today we need to be honest", Pompeo said.

Slovenian ambassador Vojislav Suc, who now holds the council's rotating presidency and has been pushing a faltering reform drive, described the Geneva-based chamber as the best place to trigger action on unsafe rights crises.

It also comes as the US faces intense criticism for detaining children separated from their immigrant parents at the US-Mexico border.

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

"Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded", Haley said.

Clark says the United States, a proponent of reform, can't achieve it from the outside looking in. "Of course Finland is committed to the work of the Human Rights Council and based on our experiences we would have hoped that the USA would have continued that co-operation".


While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the USA withdrawal, experts and diplomats have noted that without US pushback, resolutions approving investigations of Israel's conduct in the Occupied Palestinian Territories could multiply.

The move extends a broader Trump administration pattern of stepping back from worldwide agreements and forums under the president's "America First" policy. "Israel welcomes the American announcement", Netanyahu said. The U.S. announced its withdrawal from the council on Wednesday, citing among other things its alleged anti-Israel bias. Other contentious moves have included slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum against key trading partners, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Bolton, a former ambassador to the U.N. during President George W. Bush's administration, said that the United States is self-governing, and that it does not need the advice of the United Nations or other global bodies on how to do so.

Bolton said the decision to withdraw was made by Trump "weeks ago" and followed a long review of the Human Rights Council's performance.

"It is bad news for everyone who cares about human rights", Slovenian President Borut Pahor said on the UNHRC floor in Geneva on Wednesday. "Given the state of #HumanRights in today's world, the U.S. should be stepping up, not stepping back".

Now the Trump administration has formally sent notification of its decision, the U.N. General Assembly will organize elections for a replacement to assume the US term through 2019.

Haley has been the driving force behind withdrawing from the human rights body, unprecedented in the 12-year history of the council.

Russia's mission to the U.N.in NY posted on Twitter late on Tuesday: "U.S. attempts to blame the whole world for the politicization of HRC work are especially cynical".

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