U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley suggested that the United States might pull out of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
“As you know, the U.S. is looking carefully at this council and our participation in it,” Haley told the council in Geneva on Tuesday.
Speaking later at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, Haley lambasted the Council, claiming that over half of the council members fail to meet basic human rights standards, naming Cuba, Venezuela, China, Burundi and Saudi Arabia.
“If the Human Rights Council is going to be an organization we entrust to protect and promote human rights, it must change,” she said. “If it fails to change, then we must pursue the advancement of human rights outside of the council.”
Haley later clarified that the U.S. “does not seek to leave the Human Rights Council.”
But she demanded public debates on the inclusion of new members and stop criticizing Israel.
“Since its creation the council has passed more than 70 resolutions targeting Israel. It has passed just seven on Iran,” she said.
Haley claimed that Israel has a strong human rights record, drawing laughs from the audience.
She also referred to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as “anti-Semitic.”
“These changes are the minimum necessary to resuscitate the Council as a respected advocate of universal human rights,” she said. “For our part, the United States will not sit quietly while this body supposedly dedicated to human rights continues to damage the cause of human rights.”