“For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias,” Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the UN declared.
The Trump administration is under intense criticism from the 47-member council, created in 2006 and based in Geneva, because of its immigration policy.
Haley made the announcement at the State Department in Washington, saying the US does not want to “remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights”.
But the US withdrawal has been on the cards for some time now. National Security Adviser John Bolton had opposed the UNHRC when he was the American UN ambassador in 2006.
Haley had warned a year ago that the US would pull out if the council because of its bias toward Israel. The council is scheduled to discuss Israel and the Palestinian territories on July 2, according to the set agenda.
The withdrawal was met with support from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but the United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary General Antonio Guterres “would have much preferred for the United States to remain” a member.
A recent UN report blamed the US for being the most unequal among developed nations, and getting worse.