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Facing criticism over border policy, United States withdraws from U.N. Human Rights Council

Posted: 5:29 PM, Jun 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-19 22:06:22Z

Ambassador Nikki Haley says the United States is withdrawing from the U.N. Human Rights Council, calling it "an organization that is not worthy of its name."

The head of the council, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, had recently condemned the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" border policy, which has resulted in thousands of migrant families being separated as the parents are jailed and the children are diverted to government-run facilities.

Haley is President Donald Trump's envoy to the United Nations. She said a year ago she made clear the U.S. would stay in the council only if "essential reforms were achieved." She said it's clear those calls for change were not heeded.

Haley decried the membership of countries like China, Cuba and Venezuela that are themselves accused of rights violations. She said the council also has a "chronic bias against Israel."

However, Haley said that if the council does reform, the United States "would be happy to rejoin."

Haley announced the withdrawal at the State Department alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

On Twitter, al-Hussein wrote it was "Disappointing, if not really surprising, news. Given the state of #HumanRights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back."