US pulls out of UN Human Rights Council

Trump administration officials on Tuesday said the U.S. has pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying that the international body is "not worthy of its name."

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U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyHeather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job United Methodist churches may cut ties with denomination over push to allow LGBT ministers Nikki Haley: ‘I’m too young to stop fighting’ MORE announced the withdrawal alongside Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHeather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight Overnight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents MORE, following multiple news reports that the move was imminent.

Haley blasted the council as a "protector of human rights abusers and cesspool of political bias" and accused the body of "politicizing and scapegoating countries with positive human rights records."

The withdrawal, which comes as the 47-member body begins a three-week session in Geneva, had been expected as a result of the Trump administration's frequent criticism of the group's treatment of Israel.

Haley repeatedly voted against U.N. measures that were critical of Israel, and she has rebuked the council for what she called a “chronic anti-Israel bias.”

The U.S., under former President George W. Bush, initially boycotted the council — established in 2006 — but rejoined in 2009 under former President Obama.

Haley has called for other reforms to the U.N. Human Rights Council, saying the group should make it easier to expel states with poor human rights records. She said the U.S. withdrawal came after the desired reforms were not fulfilled.

“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” she said, adding that the U.S. would be “happy” to rejoin the council if it is reformed.

The move comes as the Trump administration faces a backlash at home and abroad over its “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration that's led to migrant families being separated at the U.S-Mexico border.

The U.N. Human Rights Council recently called for an end to the policy, prompting more criticism from Haley.

"Once again, the United Nations shows its hypocrisy by calling out the United States while it ignores the reprehensible human rights records of several members of its own Human Rights Council," she said.