U.S. envoy Nikki Haley berates human rights groups

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Membership of the council, established in 2006 to replace the disgraced Human Rights Commission, has always been controversial. Its decision "risks undermining the role of the U.S.as a strong advocate and supporter of democracy on the world stage", she added.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, criticized the move.

China today said it is "disappointed" with the USA decision to withdraw from the United Nations human rights body.

"No one gloats over the United States' withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council".

The advocates' resounding message: Yes the Human Rights Council is flawed, but the USA can do a lot more to improve global respect for rights from within the tent than outside it.

"But the primary reason why the U.S. is pulling out of the council now is because of its efforts to reduce or eliminate of the unfair criticism, in the US' view, of Israel's treatment of Palestinians", she added.

China, which has on multiple occasions voiced support for multilateral institutions abandoned by U.S. President Donald Trump, portrayed the council as "a major body.to promote the realisation of human rights".

Asked about criticism of China's human rights record from the U.S., Shuang said the U.S. overlooked facts and noted that China had made significant progress on human rights, Reuters reported.

And the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank close to the Trump administration, defended the move, calling the council "notably incurious about the human rights situations in some of the world's most oppressive countries".

"Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy with numerous world's worst human rights abuses going ignored and some of the world's most serious offenders sitting on the Council itself", he said.

"China will continue, working with all sides, to make its contribution to the healthy development of human rights around the world via constructive dialogue and cooperation", he added.

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Pompeo was just as critical of the council in the announcement.

The Americans complain about the constant carping on Israel, which of course should be criticised, but every time the council convenes?

Washington's withdrawal is the latest USA rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Haley said the Human Rights Council "damages the cause of human rights".

Charbonneau cited a commission of inquiry set up for war-torn Syria, saying that it "has been working for the last seven years uncovering ghastly abuses and reporting publicly on them"; the establishment of a fact-finding mission on Myanmar, "where we've seen ethnic cleansing on a scale that is mind-blogging"; as well as "looking at the problems in South Sudan, Burundi, Congo and North Korea".

She had been threatening the pull-out since a year ago unless the council made changes advocated by the U.S.

Libya was suspended in 2011 after a government crackdown on protesters. A specific number of seats is allocated for each region of the globe.

Beyond the case of Israel, these same critics have called on the Geneva-based council to address its other glaring shortcomings.

Under President George W Bush, the U.S. boycotted the body for three years after its establishment 12 years ago. "Without strategic United States engagement at the council as a member, the U.S. loses a platform to influence the course of human rights globally for the better".

The United States' current term on the council ends next year.

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