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U.S. leaving UN human rights council
Donald Trump, US President "If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph." Mike Pompeo, United States Secretary of State "Every individual has rights that are inherent and inviolable. They are given by God, and not by government. Because of that, no government must take them away. President Trump wants to move the ball forward. From day one, he has called out institutions or countries who say one thing and do another. And that’s precisely the problem at the Human Rights Council. We have no doubt that there was once a noble vision for this council. But today, we need to be honest – the Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights." Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations "For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias. Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded. Human rights abusers continue to serve on and be elected to the council. The world’s most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny, and the council continues politicizing and scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks. Therefore, as we said we would do a year ago if we did not see any progress, the United States is officially withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council. We did not make this decision lightly. Instead, we made a good-faith effort to resolve the problems. Meanwhile, the situation on the council has gotten worse, not better. In the past year, the Democratic Republic of Congo was elected as a member. The DRC is widely known to have one of the worst human rights records in the world. Even as it was being elected to membership in the Human Rights Council, mass graves continued to be discovered in the Congo. The council would not even have a meeting on the human rights conditions in Venezuela. Why? Because Venezuela is a member of the Human Rights Council, as is Cuba, as is China. The council failed to respond in December and January when the Iranian regime killed and arrested hundreds of citizens simply for expressing their views. And then, of course, there is the matter of the chronic bias against Israel. The council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights. Look at the council membership, and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic human rights. Such a council, in fact, damages the cause of human rights. If the Human Rights Council is going to attack countries that uphold human rights and shield countries that abuse human rights, then America should not provide it with any credibility. Instead, we will continue to lead on human rights outside the misnamed Human Rights Council. America has a proud legacy as a champion of human rights, a proud legacy as the world’s largest provider of humanitarian aid, and a proud legacy of liberating oppressed people and defeating tyranny throughout the world. That is why we are withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, an organization that is not worthy of its name."