US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced the United States is quitting the UN Human Rights Council.
She stressed that this move does not mean "a retreat from human rights commitments."
"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," she said.
"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," Haley said. "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," she continued.
The US diplomat described the UN HRC as "a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights."
"Even as we end our membership in the Human Rights Council, we will keep trying to strengthen the entire framework of the UN engagement in human rights issues. And we will continue to strongly advocate a reform of the UN Human Rights Council. Should it become reformed, we would be happy to rejoin it," the US diplomat added.
The US diplomat also accused a number of nations of impeding the UN Human Rights Council reform.
"When we made it clear we would strongly pursue council reform, these countries came out of the woodwork to oppose it. Russia, China, Cuba, and Egypt all attempted to undermine our reform efforts this past year," TASS cited her as saying..
Among other reasons for the US withdrawal, Haley named "chronic bias against Israel," its key ally.
US Secretary of Stake Michael Pompeo, who was also present during the announcement, described the HRC activities as "an exercise in shameless hypocrisy.