The Trump administration plans to announce Tuesday that it will withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council after criticizing the body for hypocrisy and bias against Israel.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley are expected to announce that the U.S. will leave the 47-member council at a State Department press briefing Tuesday afternoon, according to Bloomberg News.
During the council’s latest session, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, launched an attack on the Trump administration’s policy of separating families trying to cross the southwest border illegally, calling the practice “unconscionable.”
The U.S. withdrawal from the council isn’t exactly a surprise. Both Haley and National Security Advisor John Bolton have criticized the UN body since its inception in 2006. Last year, Haley condemned that council’s “relentless, pathological campaign” against Israel and denounced members of the council who have a history of human rights abuses.
“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,” Haley said during her speech last year. “In the end, no speech and no structural reforms will save the members of the Human Rights Council from themselves.”
In May, the U.S. blocked a statement from the human rights council that called for an investigation into reports that Israeli soldiers killed 58 Palestinians on the Gaza strip. At the time, Haley echoed the White House, saying that Hamas is to blame for the deaths and that “No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.”
Other U.S. allies have found it difficult to stick with the Trump administration’s approach to the UN, as countries like the U.K. and France expressed skepticism about the violence on Israel’s border last month.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has criticized the human rights council over its handling of issues related to Israel and the Palestinian territories, which he said were “damaging to the cause of peace.” But he added that the U.K. is not “blind to the value of this council,” and advocated for reforming the UN body rather than leaving it.
The U.S. announcement comes as the Trump administration receives a firestorm of criticism over its family separation policy on the border, which it has defended by claiming that it’s the product of legislation sponsored by Democrats.