EXCLUSIVE: Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Thursday tore into President Biden’s move to re-enter the U.N. Human Rights Council – which has been dogged by controversy over the human rights abusers among its members, and which Haley branded a “cesspool.”
“If President Biden truly cared about human rights, he would keep us far away from the cesspool that is the UN Human Rights Council,” Haley said in a statement to Fox News.
The U.S. was elected Thursday to the Council after the Biden administration had applied for membership earlier this year. It means that the U.S. will return to the Council after the Trump administration left the Council in 2018 over the body’s anti-Israel bias and the human rights abusers among its members.
Current members of the Council include China, Cuba, Eritrea, Russia and Venezuela – making up some of the most notorious human rights abusers and brutal regimes in the world.
“America left it under President Trump because we refused to lend our credibility, as the most generous country in the world, to cover for the world’s worst tyrants and dictators,” Haley said. [Biden’s] actions today aren’t just embarrassing; they’re dangerous.”
Critics have accused the council of having a sweeping anti-Israel bias, noting that Israel is regularly discussed and condemned by the council, while human rights violations by other countries – including those on the council – are ignored.
In 2020, 53 countries at the council, led by Cuba, came out in support of China’s oppressive national security law – a law that formed the basis of the communist regime’s crackdown against the people of Hong Kong.
That came after China was appointed to a council panel to help vet candidates for important posts.
Biden had promised that the U.S. would rejoin the Council if he was elected to the White House, and that his administration would “work to ensure that body truly lives up to its values.”
Countries on the ballot on Thursday along with the United States include Eritrea, Somalia, India, Qatar, Honduras, Argentina and Luxembourg. In a statement, current U.N. Ambassador said that the U.S. “will use every tool at our disposal, from introducing resolutions and amendments to wielding our vote when needed. Our goals are clear: stand with human rights defenders and speak out against violations and abuses of human rights.”
She also pledged that the U.S. will oppose the Council’s “disproportionate attention on Israel” and will “press against the election of countries with egregious human rights records and encourage those committed to promoting and protecting human rights both in their own countries and abroad to seek membership.”
Fox News’ Ben Evansky contributed to this report.