Political News

Nikki Haley threatens US withdrawal from UN human rights body

Posted June 6, 2017 10:16 p.m. EDT

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed the UN Human Rights Council-in a speech in Geneva on Tuesday, seemingly threatening that the US might withdraw from the body if reforms aren't made to "reestablish the Council's legitimacy."

"If the Human Rights Council is going to be an organization we entrust to protect and promote human rights, it must change," said Haley. "If it fails to change, then we must pursue the advancement of human rights outside the Council."

Haley, a former Republican governor of South Carolina who was tapped by President Donald Trump for the cabinet-level diplomatic post, specifically called out the Council for admitting "many of the world's worst human rights offenders" as members, including Venezuela, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia.

She further accused the Council of a "relentless, pathological campaign" against Israel, in part due to a controversial provision in the Council's agenda that singles the country out for censure and has drawn criticism from US Republicans and Democrats alike.

"In case after case," said Haley, the Council has been "a forum for politics, hypocrisy, and evasion -- not the forum for conscience that its founders envisioned."

"America does not seek to leave the Human Rights Council," Haley insisted in her remarks. "We seek to reestablish the Council's legitimacy."