Ambassador Nikki Haley Calls Human Rights Council U.N.’s Greatest Failure
The Trump administration faced backlash over decision to withdraw after watching it give cover to 'the world's most inhumane regimes'
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley condemned the Human Rights Council as the United Nation’s greatest failure Wednesday during a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.
“The United States was instrumental in creating the United Nations Human Rights Commission,” Haley said. “The Human Rights Council, as it is now known, has provided a voice for the voiceless, it has brought the injustice suffered by political prisoners to international attention. It has put a spotlight on crimes committed by Syria’s Assad and the Kim dictatorship in North Korea. But these have been the exceptions, not the rule.”
“More often the Human Rights Council has provided cover, not condemnation, for the world’s most inhumane regimes. It has been a bully pulpit for human rights violators,” Haley said. “Judged by how far it has fallen short of its promise, the Human Rights Council is the United Nation’s greatest failure.”
Haley was appointed by President Donald Trump as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in January 2017 and has been an outspoken advocate on behalf of American interests and causes. She drew support and fierce backlash June 19 when she announced plans for the U.S. withdrawal from the council.
Haley told the Heritage audience the council too often gives political cover to oppressive and inhumane regimes, especially in the Middle East, while unfairly targeting countries like Israel. Such actions display the council’s political and corrupt nature, which ought not be supported with American tax dollars.
“We made a good faith effort to see if we could fix the council’s problems.”
“For these reasons and others, there were voices in Congress and elsewhere, encouraging the Trump administration to withdraw from the Human Rights Council immediately when we took office,” Haley said.
“We could have easily done that. But instead, we made a good faith effort to see if we could fix the council’s problems. We engaged in a public campaign, President Trump called for changes to the council in his speech to the General Assembly last fall and we also worked relentlessly behind the scenes,” she said.
Haley added that it was disappointing when groups that work to fight oppression came out against the decision, especially when it came to countries that actually uphold human rights. She said that those countries expressed support for reforms in private but would not face the scrutiny of sharing their views publicly.