Ambassador Nikki Haley on Tuesday lectured the U.N. Human Rights Council for continuing to allow "human rights violators ... a seat at the table" and for its treatment of Israel, The Washington Post reported.
Haley took umbrage with the council giving dictators diplomatic cover by allowing their participation in the body.
"The United States is looking very carefully at this council and our participation in it. We see some areas for significant strengthening," Haley told the 47-member council, the Post reported. "Being a member of this council is a privilege, and no country who is a human rights violator should be allowed a seat at the table."
Haley said it's not the position of the U.S. to leave the council, but rather to "re-establish the council's legitimacy," the Post reported.
It's the same argument former President George W. Bush used in 2006 to leave the council, a decision President Barack Obama reversed in his first year in office.
"Countries like Venezuela, Cuba, China, Burundi and Saudi Arabia occupy positions that obligate them to, in the words of the resolution that created the Human Rights Council, 'uphold the highest standards' of human rights," Haley told the gathering in Geneva, Switzerland. "They clearly do not uphold those highest standards."
Notable is that Haley left out Egypt, an ally of the U.S., a country accused of torture, among other abuses, the Post reported.
Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Human Rights Program, said in a statement he was not impressed with Haley's admonitions.
"It's hard to take Ambassador Haley seriously on U.S. support for human rights in light of Trump administration actions like the Muslim ban and immigration crackdowns," Dakwar said. "Regardless of the party in power, the U.S. needs to lead by example and practice what it preaches on human rights."
Haley also criticized the council for its treatment of Israel.
"It's hard to accept that this council has never considered a resolution on Venezuela, and yet it adopted five biased resolutions in March against a single country, Israel," Haley told the council. "It is essential that this council address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it is to have any credibility."
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