Donald Trump during a February 28, 2017 speech Flickr
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) - The United States will be exiting the United Nations Human Rights Council, Ambassador Nikki Haley confirmed Tuesday, citing the body's record of failing and neglecting its titular mission.
Haley blasted the council, which has promoted abortion and the LGBT agenda, as "a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias," Fox News reports.
"I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from our human rights commitments," Haley stressed. "On the contrary. 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."
"We did not make this decision lightly. When this administration began 17 months ago, we were well aware of the enormous flaws in the Human Rights Council," she continued. "We could have withdrawn immediately. We did not do that. Instead, we made a good faith effort to resolve the problems."
"We did not see any progress" in the following year, Haley lamented, but the United States "would be happy to rejoin" if the council addressed those problems. But in the meantime, the Trump administration opposes lending it the moral endorsement of United States participation.
Chief among the Trump administration's objections is the fact that member nations include numerous human rights abusers such as China, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela, and the administration's contention that the council is biased against Israel, a U.S. ally and the only free democracy in the Middle East. 50% of the council's resolutions criticizing specific countries from 2006 to 2016 were directed at Israel.
Despite media coverage painting the withdrawal as an unprecedented break from tradition, that tradition is relatively short.
The council was established in 2006, replacing the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights. The U.S. under the Bush administration was a leading advocate for creating the new council, but opted not to participate in the finalized version after negotiations failed to establish rules that would exclude human rights abusers. The Obama administration rejoined the council in 2009, arguing that "engagement" with the member nations was a better way to address their actions.
"It's a 12 year history. That's 3 administrations," Front Page Magazine's Daniel Greenfield summarized. "Bush refused to join. Obama joined. Trump is taking us out. The only administration in this vast 12-year history to want to be involved is Obama. 2 out of 3 chose not to be."
While taking a selective approach to actual human rights violations, the Human Rights Council also attempts to frame left-wing social causes as human rights issues. Last year, council members criticized Poland for banning most abortions. In 2012 it attempted to assert abortion as a human right. In 2016 it voted narrowly to establish a bureaucratic postexclusively dedicated to LGBT issues.
The Trump administration has taken a number of steps to push back against these trends. In March, USAID adviser Bethany Kozma told a private meeting of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women that the "US is a pro-life country," and as such wanted the commission's final report to replace "modern contraception" with "family planning" that included abstinence education.
The next month, State Department ambassador Michael Kozak declaredthat abortion is "not a human right" and that the administration considers international contraception "access" to be a non-issue. America's delegation to the UN has also resisted efforts to recognize a "right" to abortion under international law.