The Trump Administration Is Withdrawing From The UN Human Rights Council

Last week a source told Reuters that the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Human Rights Council was “imminent.” It seems that the moment has come where it’s final happened. On Tuesday at 5 pm EST., Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced that the U.S. is officially withdrawing from the council.

The U.S. has long been threatening to leave the council, accusing the group of bias and hypocrisy. Last year, Haley warned the Council that the U.S. would be leaving the group unless a “chronic anti-Israel bias was removed.” While the U.S. shows support for Israel, the Council has accused Israel of excessive use of force, specifically with the killings in Gaza.

In addition to allegations of bias, the administration has accused the Human Rights Council of hypocrisy. Haley stated that the group was running a “relentless, pathological campaign” against Israel, and called for the expulsion of members of the council who have questionable human rights records. .

But it seems the final straw has come within the past few days, as leaders throughout the world have been reacting to the situation at the US and Mexico border. In response to the “zero-tolerance” policy, children are being unjustly separated from their families, and world leaders aren’t having it.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights  Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein addressed the Human Rights Council in Geneva and called the situation in the U.S. a “cruel practice” and said “the thought that any State would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable.” The Trump Administration called the Council out for hypocrisy, as jt chooses to ignore the records of several of its own members.

In the announcement on Tuesday, Haley stated "For too long the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias. Regrettably it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded" and announced the U.S.'s official withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council. 

 "Many of these countries argue that the United States should stay on the Human Rights Council, because American participation is the last shred of credibility that the council has," Haley continued. "But, that is precisely why we must leave."

Pompeo, in his comments called the council "a massive source of embarrassment" and called it "an exercise in shameless hypocrisy.”

When word of the intended announcement broke, responses from other leaders began to trickle in on Twitter: 

"Withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council is Donald Trump’s way of building a wall around the entirety of our country, not just at the southern border," Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusets tweeted. "This decision is yet another example of Trump’s fixation on asserting his rights rather than protecting the rights of others."

Her Campus will continue to update this story as more develops.