The United Kingdom and China have expressed regret over the decision of the U.S. to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council.
UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, in a statement by the United Kingdom Mission to the UN, said Britain wants to see a reformed council but would work for it from within.
“The United States’ decision to withdraw from the Human Rights Council is regrettable.
“We’ve made no secret of the fact that the UK wants to see reform of the Human Rights Council, but we are committed to working to strengthen the Council from within,’’ Johnson said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, China expresses regret at the U.S. decision to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council.
“China will continue working with all sides to make its contribution to the healthy development of human rights around the world via constructive dialogue and cooperation,” Geng said.
Asked about U.S. criticism of China’s rights record, Geng said the U.S. was ignoring the facts and that anyone, who was without prejudice, could see the enormous progress China had made on rights.
The official publication of China’s top anti-graft watchdog said in a commentary the U.S. decision to leave the council “has put the American peoples’ boastful image of being a defender of human rights on the verge of collapse’’.
“The separation of immigrant families on the U.S.-Mexico border showed the hypocrisy of the U.S. and that it cannot and should not criticise other countries’ rights record,’’ it said.
The U.S., while announcing its withdrawal, said the “Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy – with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored and some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself’’.
It also said the council’s membership includes authoritarian governments with unambiguous and abhorrent human rights records, such as China, Cuba, and Venezuela.
“And the council’s continued and well-documented bias against Israel is unconscionable.
“Since its creation, the council has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than against the rest of the world combined,’’ the U.S. said.
The UK said, however, that the council was the best tool for the international community to address global impunity.
“Britain’s support for the Human Rights Council remains steadfast. It is the best tool the international community has to address impunity in an imperfect world and to advance many of our international goals. That’s why we will continue to support and champion it,’’ Johnson said.