U.S. withdrawal from UNHCR, “bad news for global Human Rights”

The American decision to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council drew international criticism, with EU member states referring to the move as “bad news for anyone who cares about Human Rights.” “It is a bad news. It is a bad news for this council; it is a bad news, I think, for United Nations; it is a bad news, I think, for United States; it is a bad news for everybody who takes care about human rights.” / “The Human Rights council, without the United States, will be weaker. But also endeavors of the United States in protecting and promoting human rights throughout the world will be weaker as well,” Slovenian President Borut Pahor said.


Among the reasons for the U.S. decision, Ambassador Nikki Haley underlined the council’s failure to conduct “major, dramatic and systematic changes” demanded by the United States – further accusing the council of “hypocritical and self-serving”, over what it called the “council’s chronic bias against Israel.” Bulgaria’s Ambassador to the council stressed on behalf of the European Union that it shared Washington’s declared objective of making the international Human Rights body “more efficient and to improve its working methods.” “The EU (European Union) regrets the decision by the U.S. (United States) to withdraw from the Human Rights Council. The U.S. has for many years been a strong partner for the European Union in the Human Rights Council. Yesterday’s decision risks undermining the role of the U.S. as a strong advocate and support of democracy on the world stage.” / “We share the objective to make the Human Rights Council more efficient, and to improve its working methods, therefore remain strongly engaged in the ongoing efficiency efforts led by the Human Rights Council president. The EU is, and will continue to be, a staunch supporter of multilateralism and the wider U.N. system,” Bulgarian Ambassador to the U.N in Geneva Deyana Kostadinova said.


U.S. officials noted in response, however, that while “like-minded countries urged the United States to remain in the council,” they were unwilling to confront the unjust status quo of obsessively condemning Israel, unless it was done behind closed doors.