U.S. envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, who announced her country’s decision in Washington, slammed Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting U.S. efforts to reform the council.
She also criticized countries which shared U.S. values and encouraged Washington to remain but “were unwilling to seriously challenge the status quo.”
The U.S. is half-way through a three-year term on the main U.N. rights body and the Trump administration had long threatened to quit if the 47-member Geneva-based body was not overhauled.
“Look at the council membership, and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic rights,” said Haley, citing Venezuela, China, Cuba and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Haley also said the “disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel is clear proof that the council was motivated by political bias, not by human rights.”
Washington’s withdrawal is the latest U.S. rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.