The U.S. decision to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) demonstrates its disrespect for the international body, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
“The United States once again dealt a powerful blow to its own human rights reputation and demonstrated disrespect not just to UNHRC, but to the UN as a whole and to the structures that are part of it,’’ she said at a news briefing.
The U.S announced its withdrawal from UNHRC on Tuesday.
The U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, Nikki Haley, accused the UN human rights body of being “a protector of human rights abusers” and of bias against Israel.
The 47-member Geneva-based body has adopted a series of resolutions critical of Israel’s behavior toward the Palestinians, the latest in March, which irritated Washington.
Zakharova accused the U.S. of double standard by refusing to acknowledge the existence of human rights problems at home, on one hand, and attempting to reshape the UNHRC to suit its own political interests, on the other.
“The U.S. attempt to impose by force an extremely specific understanding of human rights on other states is in itself a gross deviation from universal human values and civilized norms of behaviour,’’ she said.
Zakharova also said that Washington’s current step, like its previously announced decision to abandon the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, confirmed that it is ready to “interact only with those multilateral mechanisms and only on those issues that meet the interests of Washington itself.”
“Russia hopes that the UNHRC will work effectively without the United States,’’ she said.