The U.S. pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday.
The council is a “protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool for political violence,” said U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley during a press conference at the State Department.
Last year, the U.S. threatened to withdraw from the council unless serious reforms were undertaken, but those requests have not been heeded, Haley said.
The U.S. envoy, who has earned a reputation as tough and unapologetic to UN members, slammed the council as “not worthy of its name.”
Human rights abusers serve on the council, Haley said, and the “world’s most inhumane regimes escape scrutiny.”
She mentioned the Democratic Republic of Congo, a bloody and repressive regime that that was elected to the council last year.
The abusive states of Cuba, China, and Venezuela are also members of the council. The council would not even hold a meeting about abuse in Venezuela, Haley said.
The council also scapegoats countries with positive human rights records, she said, and is infected with “chronic bias against Israel.”
“We did not make this decision lightly,” she continued. “We made a good faith effort to resolve the problems.”
The U.S. was in the middle of a three-year term on the 47-member body, and comes just after President Trump was criticized for not making human rights abuses in North Korea a more high-profile part of the summit with leader Kim Jong Un this month.
“This step is not a retreat from human rights commitments,” Haley assured, saying the council makes a “mockery of human rights.”
“No other country has had the courage to join our fight.”
“American participation is the last shred of credibility that the council has,” she concluded. “That is precisely why we must leave.”